Features Podcast

Beguines with Tanya Stabler Miller

Often, people think of the women of medieval Europe as either wives or nuns: women whose lives and property were under the control of someone else. But what tends to be forgotten is that for some women there was a third option: to become a beguine. This week, Danièle speaks with Dr. Tanya Stabler Miller about who the beguines were, and what medieval society thought of them.

Tanya Stabler Miller is an Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches courses on the social, cultural, and religious history of medieval Europe. Click here to view her website. You can also follow her on Twitter @StablerTanya


To learn more about the Beguines, please check out these Further Readings:

Labels and Libels: Naming Beguines in Northern Medieval Europe, eds. Letha Böhringer, Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane, and Hildo van Engen, eds.  (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014).

Jennifer K. Deane, “Beguines Reconsidered: Historiographical Problems and New Directions,” Monastic Matrix (2008)

Sean L. Field, The Beguine, the Angel and the Inquisitor: The Trials of Marguerite Porete and Guiard of Cressonessart (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012)


Herbert Grundmann, Religious Movements in the Middle Ages:  The Historical Links between Heresy, the Mendicant Orders, and the Women’s Religious Movement in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Century, with the Historical Foundations of German Mysticism, trans. Stevan Rowan (University of Notre Dame Press, 1995)

Tanya Stabler Miller, The Beguines of Medieval Paris: Gender, Patronage, and Spiritual Authority (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

Alison More, Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identities, 1200-1600 (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Walter Simons, Cities of Ladies: Beguine Communities in the Medieval Low Countries, 1200-1565 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001)

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Top Image: Habit of a Beguine of Antwerp from the 18th century. Photo by New York Public Library