Hadewijch. Writer - Beguine - Love Mystic (Paperback)
Hadewijch, c. 1210-160, commands increasing attention internationally. As an author, she is extremely creative and artistic. As a beguine, she belongs to a revolutionary women's movement formed by religious women who, conscious of their gender, did not wish to enter into either marriage or a convent. Spiritually and materially independent, these first beguines come into conflict with social order, and endure the reaction of clerics, religious and secular authorities, and those in orders. As a mystic, Hadewijch illuminates both the glorious aspects of the love-relationship with God and its painful aspect: with the enjoyment of love (minne) goes an increasingly intense desire; in unity, the alterity of the Beloved becomes all the stronger. Consequently, union with God is not a spiritual elevation by which a person is released from his or her being human: the authentic mystical being-one consists rather of the interplay between resting in God and working in this world, between being God with God and being man with the Man (Christ). You must live as a human being - this is the kernel of Hadewijch's life and teaching.