October 10 | 5:30 – 7:00 pm | Christie House Library
Susan Pitchford and Robin Mondares
In this session, we will examine and discuss the life of Mechthild of Magdeburg. The 13th Century, a period of dramatic transition, saw the startup of the itinerant and mendicant orders of the Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians. Towns were spiritual centers. From a backwater village, Mechthild ended up in Magdeburg, Germany, a “lively center of religious ardor and intellectual inquiry.” She was part of the intensely spiritual but relatively independent Beguines.
Exiled by choice from her home and later from Magdeburg, she was betrayed and abandoned by trusted spiritual companions, censured for making her spiritual experiences public and for lambasting the clergy. Suffering physically due to extreme penance, she experienced long periods of loneliness and grief. The first European mystic to write in the vernacular, her “poetic gifts allowed her to transmute intense personal suffering into mystical prose and verse of timeless power and beauty.
All are welcome at any point in the series, Thursday evenings, Sept. 19 – Nov. 7, 2019.