Concept

Brethren of the Free Spirit

Summary
The Brethren of the Free Spirit were adherents of a loose set of beliefs deemed heretical by the Catholic Church but held (or at least believed to be held) by some Christians, especially in the Low Countries, Germany, France, Bohemia, and Northern Italy between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The movement was first identified in the late thirteenth century. It was not a single movement or school of thought, and it caused great unease among Church leaders at the time. Adherents were also called Free Spirits. The set of errors condemned in the decree Ad nostrum at the Council of Vienne (1311–12) has often been used by historians to typify the group's core beliefs, though there was wide variation over how the heresy was defined during the era, and there is substantial debate over how far the individuals and groups accused of holding the beliefs (including Marguerite Porete, the Beguines, the Beghards, and Meister Eckhart) actually held the views attributed to them. The meaning
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