Beguines & Beghards

The Beguines were a group of women who lived together for spiritual benefit. They were not a nunnery - they did not have a rule, and they did not have to give up their property when the entered the group. Women also could come and go from the group. However, sometimes these communities were linked to more formal religious communities.

Many Beguines followed the style of spirituality of Bernard of Clairveax - essentially love mysticism.

More on the Beguines when we discuss Mechthild of Magdeburg.