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Marguerite Porete: The Mirror of Simple Souls (Classics of Western Spirituality)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  109 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Margaret (?-1310) was a beguine from Hainaut who was burned at the stake as a relapsed heretic. Here is the first modern English translation of the complete text of The Mirror, written between 1296 and 1306, a theological treatise that analyzes how love in humans is related to divine love and how the soul may experience a lasting union with God in this life.
Paperback, 249 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Paulist Press
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Feb 06, 2012 Erika rated it liked it
I didn't think I would "like" this book, and thats really not why I read it. I read it because of one line in "World Without End" which referenced it. And yes, I am so neurotic, I had to read it just to "get" that one reference. Its translated to English, which doesn't mean I understood it. Not at all. Sometimes I wondered if I wasn't "spiritual" enough to understand it. Sometimes I wondered if I didn't understand it because it was SO CRAZY. Sometimes I wondered if a different translation would ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Cait rated it it was amazing
a life changer
Jun 02, 2008 Rob rated it it was amazing
It's kind of a cheat to add this book to my list, but since it's the topic of my dissertation, I thought it would be a good thing to have on my site.

This is a wonderful translation of a difficult late-13th century French text, written by a woman who was later put to death for it. The book was translated into English, Latin, Italian, and perhaps German within a century or two of the author's demise. It is difficult in the sense that it deals with becoming one with God, directly and during one's
Jan 03, 2014 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-lit
A mix of my not-favorites things...heresy and court poetry. While Porete is certainly an interesting historical figure my interest in her does not extend to her interpretation of the Free Spirit heresy. What I am interested in however is how this woman submitted her book to church authorities in Paris just about the same time they were winding down with the Templar Knight heresies. Less than a month after fifty four Templar Knights were burned to death in a field outside Paris, this woman too me ...more
Katharine Holden
Tried very hard to find meaning in this. Finally gave myself permission to take it back to the library. Blech.
Some wild and astonishing moments, but mostly I was skimming over what felt inaccessible.
Allison Riehl
Feb 15, 2016 Allison Riehl rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
An interesting read with different personification and thought processes.
 Rev. Bobbie
Sep 01, 2008 Rev. Bobbie rated it it was amazing
Women look too far to find the real stories of spiritual women. Marguerite Porete is a wonderful spiritual leader whose writings come from this 13th C mystic. Translated by Ellen Babinsky this becomes a beautiful teaching.
We listen to 'modern' women theologians or tv preachers and miss the wholeness of this Mystics thoughts.
Come and drink at the well.

Chris Schaeffer
May 04, 2012 Chris Schaeffer rated it it was amazing
Porete is astonishing and strange. She's also a lot less like Schreber than I initially thought. I read this, slowly and in awe, for a paper from which I wound up cutting all Beghard thought. Oh well.
 Rev. Bobbie
Sep 01, 2008 Rev. Bobbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before the world discovered the word spirituality Marguerite was writing about it.
Modern words from a 13th C mystic ..translated by Ellen Babinsky read this and get centered.
Patti Clement
Studied her life in the Foundation of Spirituality course when we covered Women Mystics! We read excerpts but I'm looking forward to reading whole book once my studies are done.
Oct 19, 2007 Kate marked it as to-read
Professor Amy Hollywood taught this book in her course entitled Mysticism and Christianity.
Brenda Neufeld
Jan 13, 2015 Brenda Neufeld rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction-read
Strange and brilliant.
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Marguerite Porete (died 1310) was a French mystic and the author of The Mirror of Simple Souls, a work of Christian spirituality dealing with the workings of Divine Love. She was burnt at the stake for heresy in Paris in 1310 after a lengthy trial, after refusing to remove her book from circulation or recant her views. The book is cited as one the primary texts of the medieval Heresy of the Free S ...more
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