Bourignon, Antoinette

Bourignon, Antoinette

(äNtwänĕt` bo͞orēnyôN`), 1616–80, Flemish Christian mystic, adherent of quietismquietism,
a heretical form of religious mysticism founded by Miguel de Molinos, a 17th-century Spanish priest. Molinism, or quietism, developed within the Roman Catholic Church in Spain and spread especially to France, where its most influential exponent was Madame Guyon.
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. In 1636 she fled from home to avoid a marriage urged by her father, spent a short time in a convent, and was in charge (1653–62) of an orphanage. Believing herself divinely directed to restore the pure spirit of the Gospel, she gathered (1667) at Amsterdam a fanatical following. Moving from place to place, she took her printing press with her and disseminated her quietistic teachings. According to her alleged revelations, religion was a matter of internal emotion, not of faith and practice. Her mystical ideas found particular favor in Scotland, where Bourignianism was declared a heresy (1711) and candidates for the ministry were required to renounce it before ordination. Her autobiography was translated into English as The Light of the World (1696).

Bibliography

See A. R. Macewen, Antoinette Bourignon, Quietist (1910).

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