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Women Mystics in Medieval Europe

Women Mystics in Medieval Europe
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Index , Bibliography
$16.95 (12.71)
“In these writings, rich and colorful mixtures of spirituality, sensuality, and suffering combine to make these women mystics profoundly counter cultural, and, therefore, revelatory of the blind spots both of their own time and of ours.”–Margaret R. Miles, Bussey Professor of Historical Theology, Harvard University

Women Mystics in Medieval Europe revives the exquisite mystical literature of five powerful mystics of the Middle Ages: a Benedictine abbess, a Cistercian prioress, and three Beguines. The lost story of feminine Christianity is here enriched for the first time by the historical context of each woman’s life and her fresh literary expression of spiritual reality. Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Beatrice of Nazareth, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Marguerite Porete were acknowledged handmaidens of God’s prophetic spirit. Their teaching, solidly based in theological and metaphysical culture, was even thought superior to that of the scholastic doctors of the time.

“Flowing Light of the Godhead,” “The Seven Manners of Love,” and “The Mirror of Simple Annihilated Souls,” written in the vernacular, foreshadowed the works of Meister Eckhart. Ruysbroeck the Admirable, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and many other mystics. In the, clear, vigorous language of these long-suppressed works, readers of today can rediscover the primacy of love and imagination over pure intellect. Women Mystics in Medieval Europe is an important work of reference for Christians and spiritual seekers as well as an inspirational resource for those who aspire to “see without an intermediary what God is.”

EMILIE ZUM BRUNN is Director of Research at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

GEORGETTE EPINEY-BURGARD is a specialist in Medieval Dutch literature, language, and spirituality.

Translator SHEILA HUGHES has taught English language and literature at the British Institute of Rome and at Rome University.

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