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État béguinal, demi-clôture et « vie mêlée » des filles dévotes de la Réforme Catholique dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux à l'époque moderne

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  • Philippe Guignet

Abstract

[fre] Les Pays-Bas furent terres de béguinages. Les XVIIe et XVIIe siècles demeurent une période moins connue de leur existence. À partir des exemples lillois et valenciennois, M. Guignet examine les modes de recrutement et de fonctionnement de ces groupements de pieuses femmes qui vivent en communauté sans prononcer de vœux. Il s'attache à dégager les particularités de l'état de demi-clôture qui est le lot commun de la condition béguinale. Les similitudes avec les religieuses laïques engagées dans les congrégations nées au XVIIe siècle ne manquent pas, puisque toutes mènent une «vie mêlée» devant permettre la fécondation réciproque d'une vie intérieure riche et d'une pratique sociale au contact du monde. Toutefois, les divergences apparaissent aussi clairement. L'accent mis sur la pauvreté, la fermeté et l'ampleur de l'engagement social distinguent les nouvelles congrégations séculières féminines, alors que la fécondité spirituelle du modèle béguinal perd de sa force surtout au XVIIIe siècle. [eng] Many Beguine communities were founded in the Netherlands. Much is still unknown about what those communities were like in the 17th and 18th centuries. Starting from the Lille and Valenciennes examples, M. Guignet inquires into the way those pious women - living in communities but not under vows - were recruited and how the groups worked. He endeavours to bring out the peculiarities of the half-secluted state which was shared by all the women who lived in those communities. There are many similarities with the lay nuns belonging to congregations created in the 17th century since all lived a "mixed life "; a rich inner life and social practices bringing them into contact with the world could thus intermingle and enrich one another. There are also clear differences, though. The emphasis laid on poverty, the steadfastness and the fullness of their social commitment set apart the new secular congregations of women, while the spiritual enrichment of the Beguine model lost some of its strength, especially in the 18th century.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Guignet, 2005. "État béguinal, demi-clôture et « vie mêlée » des filles dévotes de la Réforme Catholique dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux à l'époque moderne," Histoire, économie & société, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(3), pages 373-385.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_3_2556 Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2556
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