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Porete's vision o

Porete's vision of the Soul in ecstatic union with God, moving in a state of perpetual joy and peace, is a repetition of the Catholic doctrine of the Beatific Vision, albeit experienced in this life and not in the next. Where Porete ran into trouble with some authorities was in her description of the Soul in this state being above the worldly dialectic of conventional morality and the teachings and control of the earthly church. Porete argues that the Soul in such a sublime state is above the demands of ordinary virtue, not because virtue is not needed but because in its state of union with God virtue becomes automatic. As God can do no evil and cannot sin, the exalted/Annihilated soul, in perfect union with Him, no longer is capable of evil or sin. Church authorities viewed the concept that someone was above the demands of ordinary virtue as amoral.

After Porete's death, however, the Mirror was circulated as an anonymous work. Originally written in Old French, it was translated into Latin, Italian, and Middle English and circulated widely.[24] In spite of its reputation as a heretical work it remained popular in Medieval times. At one point it was thought that John of Ruusbroec had written it.

Only in 1946 was the authorship of the Mirror recognised again, when Romana Guarnieri identified Latin manuscripts of the Mirror in the Vatican as the supposedly lost book of Marguerite.[25] The Middle F

Only in 1946 was the authorship of the Mirror recognised again, when Romana Guarnieri identified Latin manuscripts of the Mirror in the Vatican as the supposedly lost book of Marguerite.[25] The Middle French manuscript of the text, probably made after 1370, was published for the first time in 1965.[26]

There has been some speculation as to why Porete was considered controversial. Growing hostility to the Beguine movement among Franciscans and Dominicans, the political machinations of Philip IV of France, who was also busy suppressing the Knights Templar, and ecclesiastical fear at the spread of the anti-hierarchical Free Spirit movement have all been suggested.[citation needed]

Some also associated her with the Brethren of the Free Spirit, a group which was considered heretical because of their antinomian views. The connection between Porete and the Free Spirits is somewhat tenuous, though, as further scholarship has determined that they were less closely related than some Church authorities believed.[27]

Porete's status as a Medieval mystic has grown in recent decades, placing her alongside Mechthild of Magdeburg and Hadewijch in expressing the Love Mysticism of Beguine spirituality.[citation nee

Some also associated her with the Brethren of the Free Spirit, a group which was considered heretical because of their antinomian views. The connection between Porete and the Free Spirits is somewhat tenuous, though, as further scholarship has determined that they were less closely related than some Church authorities believed.[27]

Porete's status as a Medieval mystic has grown in recent decades, placing her alongside Mechthild of Magdeburg and Hadewijch in expressing the Love Mysticism of Beguine spirituality.[citation needed]

In 2006 poet Anne Carson wrote a poetic libretto entitled Decreation, the second part of which takes as its subject Marguerite Porete and her work, The Mirror of Simple Souls as part of exploration of how women (Sappho, Simone Weil and Porete) "tell God."[28]

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