Donne moderne del medioevo

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Modern women of the Middle Ages

Davide Riserbato

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


[Autom. eng. transl.] With the decline of the feudal world, between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, in Flanders and other parts of Europe, we witness a phenomenon of extraordinary modernity combined with a great religious depth. Lay women, already forerunners of the times, take charge of works of charity and assistance in a society that is increasingly divided due to urban developments between the rich and the new poor. These are the beguines, and among them stand out personalities of great depth. The fact that the term "beguines" has today taken on an almost symbolic character of a superstitious pietism is part of those subversions of meaning that history knows. The event of the beguines pertains above all to the history of the Church, to an interpretation of Christianity as a vocation to help others out of love for Christ who became man and sacrificed himself for man. Modern spirituality that prepares figures like St. Vincent de Paul centuries in advance. But also a historical event that shows the crisis of a world which, by modernizing itself, is preparing, in the name of the new jobs in city life, to leave behind those who are not lucky. The figures of Hadewijch of Antwerp, Mectilde of Magdeburg and Margherita Porete are not only part of the history of mysticism, but are at the same time a sign of a radical social criticism
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Modern women of the Middle Ages
Original languageItalian
PublisherJaca Book
Number of pages171
ISBN (Print)978-88-16-40871-5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series



  • Hadewijch d’Anversa, Mectilde di Magdeburgo, Margherita Porete


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