Sweetman, Robert. "Thomas of Cantimpré, Mulieres Religiosae, and Purgatorial Piety: Hagiographical Vitae and the Beguine 'Voice'." In A Distinct Voice: Medieval Studies in Honor of Leonard E. Boyle, O.P., pp. 606-628. Ed. Jacqueline Brown and William P. Stoneman. Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1996.
This study explores and identifies criteria by which one is able to establish what the thirteenth-century Dominican Thomas of Cantimpré learned from women religious whose spirituality he was attracted to, sought to serve as preacher and confessor, and whose sanctity he sought to promote as a writer of saints’ lives. In so doing it shows how the distinctive character of his interest in Purgatory and in suffrages on behalf of one’s beloved dead cannot be explained by the commonplaces of a person of his religious identity, sex and education, nor by modern psychological expectations, but rather by patterns of piety he discovered among beguines of the Southern Low Countries he ministered to or heard tell of in and around Liège. In so doing the study disputes the widespread assumption found within many feminist and Annales-school histories that male mediations of medieval female religious experience covered over that experience such that it has been lost to us, root and branch.