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Beguines

Beguines (bāgēnz´), religious associations of women in Europe, established in the 12th cent. The members, who took no vows and were not subject to the rules of any order, were usually housed in individual cottages and devoted themselves to charitable works; their community was called a beguinage. Until the 14th cent., numerous women of high social standing went into the communities. From Belgium and the Netherlands the movement extended across France and Germany. During the earlier years, their services to society brought the Beguines favor and protection from secular and church authorities; but in the 13th and 14th cent. accusations of heresies and immorality among them as well as among the Beghards, the corresponding bands of men, led to the scattering of the members. The character of the surviving communities eventually changed, in some localities taking the form of almshouses for needy spinsters.

See study by E. W. McDonnell (1954, repr. 1969).

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Beguine

Beguine a member of a lay sisterhood in the Low Countries, formed in the 12th century and not bound by vows; members were allowed to leave their societies for marriage. They are still represented by small communities existing in the Netherlands, with an organization somewhat similar to some Anglican sisterhoods.

The name is said in a 12th-century chronicle to derive from the nickname of Lambert, a priest of Liège, nicknamed ‘le Bègue’ because he stammered.


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beguine

be·guine / biˈgēn/ • n. a popular dance of West Indian origin, similar to the foxtrot.

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Beguines

Beguines (lay Christian movements): see RHENO-FLEMISH SPIRITUALITY.

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beguine

beguineAberdeen, Amin, aquamarine, baleen, bean, been, beguine, Benin, between, canteen, careen, Claudine, clean, contravene, convene, cuisine, dean, Dene, e'en, eighteen, fascine, fedayeen, fifteen, figurine, foreseen, fourteen, Francine, gean, gene, glean, gombeen, green, Greene, Halloween, intervene, Janine, Jean, Jeannine, Jolene, Kean, keen, Keene, Ladin, langoustine, latrine, lean, limousine, machine, Maclean, magazine, Malines, margarine, marine, Mascarene, Massine, Maxine, mean, Medellín, mesne, mien, Moline, moreen, mujahedin, Nadine, nankeen, Nazarene, Nene, nineteen, nougatine, obscene, palanquin, peen, poteen, preen, quean, queen, Rabin, Racine, ramin, ravine, routine, Sabine, saltine, sardine, sarin, sateen, scene, screen, seen, serene, seventeen, shagreen, shebeen, sheen, sixteen, spleen, spring-clean, squireen, Steen, submarine, supervene, tambourine, tangerine, teen, terrine, thirteen, transmarine, treen, tureen, Tyrrhene, ultramarine, umpteen, velveteen, wean, ween, Wheen, yean •soybean • buckbean

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