Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 4880
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Sargent , Michael G.,
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: The Annihilation of Marguerite Porete
  • Source: Viator 28, ( 1997): Pages 253 - 279.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Feminist Theory Gender Heresy Marguerite Porete, Mystic Mystics Psychological Approach Theology Women in Religion
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 13- 14
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  • Abstract: On 1 June 1310, Marguerite Porete was publicly burned as a heretic in Paris for the repeated circulation of her book, the "Mirouer des simples ames anienties." Since the rediscovery and publication of this book by Romana Guarnieri as part of her study of the heresy of the Free Spirit in the later medieval period, most scholarly treatment of the "Mirouer" has been concerned with its place in the transmission of heterodoxy. More recent, particularly feminist, readings have emphasized social rather than doctrinal issues, but have grounded themselves in a conception of the role that the "Mirouer" played in late medieval religious literature that was skewed by the arguments and assumptions of earlier work. The present article reviews these questions, but it is primarily intended as an exploration of the heterodoxy of Marguerite Porete through the hermeneutics of gender: it attempts to read the idea of the "annihilation" of the lover of God in terms of feminist psychology of self-identity. Drawing upon observations of female mystics by Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray, and of relation and dependence by Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin, it explores the unacceptability of the fundamental ideas of the "Mirouer des simples ames" in terms of the definition of masculine and feminine subjectivity in Western culture. [Reproduced by permission of Brepols Publishers.]
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  • Year of Publication: 1997.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00835897
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