The Mirror of Simple Souls Background

The Mirror of Simple Souls Background

Composed originally in Old French, The Mirror of Simple Souls is a work written in the 14th century by Marguerite Porete about the Christian faith, especially the idea of agape, or divine love. Although it was extremely popular in its time, it was denounced by the Christian Church for heresy; the book was put out of circulation, and Marguerite Porete was burnt to death at the stake.

The Mirror of Simple Souls deals with love and the afterlife. A central idea of the book is that when a person dies, their soul is sent through seven layers of purgatory before they become one with God, achieving true divine love and devotion to Him. However, this belief went against the common ideal of the Christian Church, leading them to become wary of the book spreading mistaken and "heretical" statements, subsequently causing the book's ban and de-circulation as well as her unfortunate death.

However, The Mirror of Simple Souls is regarded today as an extremely influential work of medieval literature. It is seen as very important in the movement of the "Heresy of the Free Spirit", a trend in the 13th-15th centuries where many Christians were leaning towards more eccentric, new age ideals.

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