Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
A congregation of nuns founded either by St. Begghe or by Lambert le Begue. They were established, first at Leige, and afterwards at Neville, in 1207; and from this last settlement sprang the great number of Beguinages which are spread over all Flanders, and which have passed from Flanders into Germany. In the latter country some of them fell into extravagant errors, persuading themselves that is was possible in the present life to arrive to the highest perfection, even to impeccability, and a clear view of God; in short, to so eminent a degree of contemplation, that there was no necessity, after this, to submit to the laws of mortal men, civil or ecclesiastical. The council of Vienna, in 1113, condemned these errors; permitting, nevertheless, those among them who continued in the true faith to live in charity and penitence, either with or without vows. There still subsists, or at least subsisted till lately, many communities of them in Flanders. What changes the late revolutions may have effected upon these nurseries of superstition we have yet to learn.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Beguines'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/b/beguines.html. 1802.