This article examines the influence of the conflicting dis- courses in the medieval church and its social context on the subconscious experiences of Hadewijch of Brabant, a 13th century Flemish visionary, mystical author, vernacular theologian and Beguine leader
In comparing the trial of María de Cazalla with Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls, one of the most notable works of medieval mysticism, the present study aims to demonstrate how the main components of alumbradismo may be discerned in a single normative example of medieval mystical theology.
For medieval mystical women, the ability to maintain two opposite concepts simultaneously seems to be requisite for spiritual development. Not only were women asked to comprehend humanity’s otherness from God, as women, they were assumed subservient to men and, paradoxically, as able to receive redemption as their male counterparts; women understood their nature as both inferior and worthy, lesser than and equal to.
Central to the aims of this thesis is the question “how did Porete „fit‟ the religious landscape of her period?” A seeming obstacle to this pursuit are claims from within the scholarship that Porete did not „fit‟ at all, but was, rather, as an aberration amidst other female mystics of the period.