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Antoinette Bourignon (1616) Options
Daemon
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 12:00:00 AM
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Antoinette Bourignon (1616)

Bourignon was a Flemish Christian mystic. After spending a short time in a convent and as head of an orphanage, she gathered a fanatical following at Amsterdam, believing herself divinely directed to restore the pure spirit of the Gospel. Moving from place to place, she took her printing press with her and disseminated her teachings. Her mystical ideas found particular favor in Scotland, where Bourignianism was declared a heresy. Why did Bourignon flee her home in 1636? More...
KSPavan
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Antoinette Bourignon (1616)
Bourignon was a Flemish Christian mystic. After spending a short time in a convent and as head of an orphanage, she gathered a fanatical following at Amsterdam, believing herself divinely directed to restore the pure spirit of the Gospel. Moving from place to place, she took her printing press with her and disseminated her teachings. Her mystical ideas found particular favor in Scotland, where Bourignianism was declared a heresy.
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 6:11:29 AM

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Antoinette Bourignon (1616–1680)
The mystic and prophetess Antoinette Bourignon is one of the most intriguing women of the seventeenth century. She was born in Lille, the child of Catholic merchants. Bourignon chose to devote her life to God and escaped marriage by running away from home in 1636. In her spiritual autobiography La Parole de Dieu (1663), she relates that in 1635 Saint Augustine appeared to her in a vision. Supposedly he instructed her to restore his Order. This mysterious request marked the beginning of Bourignon’s spiritual voyage of discovery, one that eventually led her to take a critical and independent stance in relation to the Church and its doctrinal authority.

In 1663 Bourignon met in Mechelen the priest Christiaan de Cort, who persuaded her to travel with him to Amsterdam and from there on to the island of Nordstrand off the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. Previously, as ‘director’ of Nordstrand, he had invested huge sums in the island’s dykes, and he was convinced that this was where Bourignon’s community of true Christians should be established. In December 1667 she arrived in Amsterdam, planning to travel on to Nordstrand the following spring. Her plans were thwarted, however, for De Cort was imprisoned at the request of his creditors and died.

The freedom of the press that prevailed in the Dutch Republic made it possible for Bourignon to publish her work for the first time. To avoid dependence on commercial printers, she bought her own printing press in 1669 and had a printing establishment set up in her own house. Being confronted with the religious pluriformity within the Dutch Republic, Bourignon felt herself to be under an obligation to gather true Christians together and considered herself to have been chosen by God to restore true Christianity on earth. Her belief was that the Last Judgment was imminent and that only true Christians would be saved. From 1669 onwards, Bourignon propagated her message in numerous epistles and writings, without professing to establish a new church or sect.

In 1671 and 1672 Bourignon entered into agreements with three Amsterdam merchants whose plans were designed to lay the financial basis for her community of true Christians. Not only merchants, doctors, and theologians, but also skippers, painters, and artisans joined Bourignon’s flock. Her best-known followers included the natural scientist Jan Swammerdam (1637–1680) and the theologian Pierre Poiret (1646–1719).

In 1671 Bourignon left Amsterdam with the intention of claiming De Cort’s contested inheritance on Nordstrand. She never set foot on the island, however. Conflicts in Schleswig-Holstein with Lutheran preachers forced her to change residence constantly and in 1680 she decided to return to Amsterdam. Illness forced her to interrupt her journey at Franeker, where she died on 31 October 1680.
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 10:38:45 AM

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Antoinette Bourignon (1616)
Bourignon was a Flemish Christian mystic. After spending a short time in a convent and as head of an orphanage, she gathered a fanatical following at Amsterdam, believing herself divinely directed to restore the pure spirit of the Gospel. Moving from place to place, she took her printing press with her and disseminated her teachings. Her mystical ideas found particular favor in Scotland, where Bourignianism was declared a heresy.


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