Antoinette Bourignon

1616-1680. Enthusiast and visionary. Born at Lille in the Spanish Netherlands, she was brought up as a Roman Catholic. An unusual child, she withdrew from ordinary social life and became convinced that God spoke to her in visions and chose her to be a new Eva, a new Mary, the “woman clothed with the sun” of Revelation 12, with the mission of reforming Christianity. Attacking all established churches, she taught the inner light, direct contact with God, and the destruction of man's sinful ego. By her late forties she began attracting disciples; after a sojourn on Nordstrand in the North Sea, she moved to Hamburg, where the mystic P. Poiret joined her, and died in Friesland on her way to Amsterdam. Her extreme version of Quietism* was spread by her followers and gained support in Scotland (where Presbyterian assemblies denounced the movement in the early 1700s). The sect gradually faded out in the course of the 1700s. Her extensive and rambling writings were published by Poiret in Amsterdam, 1679-84, in twenty-one volumes.

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