Original Research

The Trinitarian and Christological Minnemystik of the Flemish beguine Hadewijch of Antwerp (fl. 1240)

Johann Beukes
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a5865 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.5865 | © 2020 Johann Beukes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2019 | Published: 28 May 2020

About the author(s)

Johann Beukes, Department of Philosophy, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa; and, Center for the History of Philosophy and Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the, Netherlands


This article provides an original reappraisal of the notion of Minnemystik in the work of the 13th-century Flemish beguine Hadewijch of Antwerp (fl. 1240), with specific reference to its Trinitarian and Christological orientations. After an introduction to the nature and origins of Hadewijch’s work, relating to the discovery of four extant manuscripts (MS.A [2879–2880], MS.B [2877–2878], BS.C and the incomplete MS.D [385 II]) in Belgium in 1838, followed by an elucidation of the experience-driven epistemology of the Victorians Richard of St Victor (d. 1173) and Hugo of St Victor (1079–1141) as her key early scholastic influences, Hadewijch’s Minnemystik is distinguished from Wesenmystik, as encountered in the mystical work of her French contemporary and beguine counterpart, Marguerite Porete (1250–1310). From this discursive basis, Hadewijch’s Minnemystik is reassessed and represented as pertinently Trinitarian and Christological in orientation, and therefore as a theological (and not merely an enticing ‘mystical-sexual’) presentation from the 13th century.


beguine spirituality; experience-driven epistemology; Hadewijch of Antwerp (fl. 1240); Hugo of St Victor (1079–1141); Koninklijke Bibliotheek België; manuscripts MS.A (2879–2880), MS.B (2877–2878); BS.C; MS.D (385 II); Marguerite Porete (1250–1310); Minne


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