The Beguine, the Angel, and the Inquisitor
The Trials of Marguerite Porete and Guiard of Cressonessart
Publication Year: 2012
On 31 May 1310, at the Place de Grève in Paris, the Dominican inquisitor William of Paris read out a sentence that declared Marguerite “called Porete,” a beguine from Hainault, to be a relapsed heretic, released her to secular authority for punishment, and ordered that all copies of a book she had written be confiscated. William next consigned Guiard of Cressonessart, an apocalyptic activist in the tradition of Joachim of Fiore and a would-be defender of Marguerite, to perpetual imprisonment. Over several months, William of Paris conducted inquisitorial processes against them, complete with multiple consultations of experts in theology and canon law. Though Guiard recanted at the last moment and thus saved his life, Marguerite went to her execution the day after her sentencing.
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Download PDF (27.5 KB)
The research and writing of this book were supported by a grant from the American Philosophical Society and by grants from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research . . .
Download PDF (15.0 KB)
Introduction: Modern and Medieval Contexts
Download PDF (126.9 KB)
On 31 May 1310, at the Place de Grève in Paris, the Dominican inquisitor William of Paris read out a sentence that declared Marguerite “called Porete” to be a relapsed heretic, released her to secular authority for . . .
Chapter 1: Background to a Beguine, Becoming an Angel
Download PDF (70.0 KB)
One of the trial documents from 1310 refers to Guiard of Cressonessart as “arising from himself,” presumably as a way of attributing his “heresy” to his own stubborn imagination. The description seems. . .
Chapter 2: Seven Churchmen and a Beguine
Download PDF (119.5 KB)
Marguerite Porete has often been portrayed as a solitary figure whose stubborn disdain for churchmen set her on a certain path to the stake. The evidence, however, reveals another picture. Although the hostility . . .
Chapter 3: The Inquisitor
Download PDF (112.5 KB)
While Marguerite Porete was battling church authorities in the Low Countries and Guiard of Cressonessart was developing his angelic mission, William of Paris was enjoying a steady ascent toward the upper . . .
Chapter 4: First Steps
Download PDF (99.2 KB)
Marguerite Porete and William of Paris had more in common in the fall of 1308 than one might think. Both must have felt deceived by recent events. Marguerite had patiently gathered support for her writings but . . .
Chapter 5: Philadelphia Story
Download PDF (100.8 KB)
William of Paris must surely have communicated the canonists’ decision to Marguerite and Guiard and spelled out—if this was necessary— what the possibility of relaxation to the secular arm implied. . . .
Chapter 6: Twenty-One Theologians and a Book
Download PDF (101.6 KB)
Guiard’s decision to testify and repent saved his life. But he had failed in his mission to defend Marguerite Porete. William of Paris, however, did not immediately take further steps concerning the issue of . . .
Chapter 7: Toward the Stake
Download PDF (108.8 KB)
The 11 April condemnation of extracts from Marguerite’s book had not materially altered the standing of the case against Marguerite in her person. Her status remained what it had been since 3 April, when . . .
Download PDF (57.4 KB)
Download PDF (83.8 KB)
Download PDF (84.5 KB)
Download PDF (111.5 KB)
Download PDF (45.6 KB)
Download PDF (60.0 KB)
Download PDF (568.0 KB)
Download PDF (173.4 KB)
Download PDF (124.7 KB)
Page Count: 416
Publication Year: 2012