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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism
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    Renevey, Denis 2017. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism.

    Renevey, Denis 2017. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism.

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Book description

The widespread view that 'mystical' activity in the Middle Ages was a rarefied enterprise of a privileged spiritual elite has led to isolation of the medieval 'mystics' into a separate, narrowly defined category. Taking the opposite view, this book shows how individual mystical experience, such as those recorded by Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, is rooted in, nourished and framed by the richly distinctive spiritual contexts of the period. Arranged by sections corresponding to historical developments, it explores the primary vernacular texts, their authors, and the contexts that formed the expression and exploration of mystical experiences in medieval England. This is an excellent, insightful introduction to medieval English mystical texts, their authors, readers and communities. Featuring a guide to further reading and a chronology, the Companion offers an accessible overview for students of literature, history and theology.


'The reader is left with a clear sense of both the historical development and sheer mass of spiritual writing and thought in medieval England. Seasoned scholars will learn a good deal from this collection, but it will also make an excellent classroom text.'

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Thomas H. Bestul in ‘Chaucer's Parson's Tale and the Late-Medieval Tradition of Religious Meditation’, Speculum 64 (1989), 600–19

Hugh White , Nature, Sex, and Goodness in a Medieval Literary Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 110–38

Nicole R. Rice , ‘Devotional Literature and Lay Spiritual Authority: Imitatio Clerici in Book to a Mother’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 35 (2005), 187–216

Eric Colledge , ‘Epistola Solitarii ad Reges: Alphonse of Pecha as Organizer of Birgittine and Urbanist Propaganda’, Mediaeval Studies 18 (1956), 19–49

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Mary Erler , ‘“A Revelation of Purgatory” (1422): Reform and the Politics of Female Visions’, Viator 38 (2007), 321–47

Nicole Rice , Lay Piety and Religious Discipline in Middle English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Jessica Brantley , Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England (Chicago, IN: University of Chicago Press, 2007)

David William Bebbington , Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989).

Pierre Bourdieu , ‘The Scholastic Point of View’, Cultural Anthropology 5 (1990), 380–91.

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Ursula Peters , Religiose Erfahrung als literarisches Faktum: Zur Vorgeschichte und Genese frauenmystischer Texte des 13. und 14. Jahrhunderts (Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1988).

See also Robert Sharf , ‘The Zen of Japanese Nationalism’, History of Religions 33 (1993), 1–43.

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne , Saints' Lives and Women's Literary Culture c. 1150–1300: Virginity and Its Authorizations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001).

David Knowles , The Monastic Order in England: A History of its Development from the times of Saint Dunstan to the Fourth Lateran Council, 940–1216, 2nd edn (Cambridge, 1963).

Sarah Stanbury , The Visual Object of Desire in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

Greg Walker , Writing Under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Alexandra Da Costa , ‘John Fewterer's Myrrour or Glasse of Christes Passion and Ulrich Pinder's Speculum Passionis Domini Nostri’, Notes and Queries 56:1 (2009), 27–29.

James Hogg , ‘Richard Whytford: A Forgotten Spiritual Guide’, Studies in Spirituality 15 (2005), 129–42.

James P. Carley , ‘The Dispersal of the Monastic Libraries and the Salvaging of the Spoils’, in The Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland I, ed. Elisabeth Leedham-Green and Teresa Webber (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 265–91.

David Wallace , ‘Periodizing Women: Mary Ward (1585–1645) and the Premodern Canon’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 36 (2006).

Nicholas Watson , ‘The Middle English Mystics’, in David Wallace (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 539–65.

Denys Turner , The Darkness of God: Negativity in Christian Mysticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Barry Windeatt (ed.), English Mystics of the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Peter Brown (ed.), A Companion to Medieval English Literature and Culture c. 1350–c. 1500 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).

Eamon Duffy , ‘Religious Belief’, in Rosemary Horrox and W. M. Ormrod (eds.), A Social History of England 1200–1500 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 293–339.

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton , Reformist Apocalypticism and Piers Plowman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

Maura Nolan , John Lydgate and the Making of Public Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Robert John Meyer-Lee , Poets and Power from Chaucer to Wyatt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Nicholas Watson , ‘Censorship and Cultural Change in Late-Medieval England: Vernacular Theology, the Oxford Translation Debate, and Arundel's Constitutions of 1409’, Speculum 70 (1995), 822–64.

Caroline M. Barron , London in the Later Middle Ages: Government and People, 1200–1500 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Rosemary Horrox and W. M. Ormrod (eds.), A Social History of England, 1200–1500 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Sheila Lindenbaum , ‘London Texts and Literate Practice’, in David Wallace (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 284–309.

Vincent Gillespie and Kantik Ghosh (eds.), After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming, 2011).

Daniel Wakelin , Humanism, Reading, and English Literature, 1430–1530 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Richard Rex , The Theology of John Fisher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy (eds.), Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career of Bishop John Fisher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Jennifer Bryan , Looking Inward: Devotional Reading and the Private Self in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia, 2008: University of Pennsylvania Press).

Valerie Flint , ‘The Commentaries of Honorius Augustodunensis on the Song of Songs’, Revue Bénédictine 84 (1974), 196–211.

E. Ann Matter , The Voice of My Beloved: The Song of Songs in Western Medieval Christianity (Philadelphia, PN: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990).

Bruce P. Flood , Jr., ‘The Carmelite Friars in Medieval English Universities and Society, 1299–1430’, Recherches de Théologie ancienne et médiévale 55 (1988), 154–83.

Alastair Minnis , ‘Reclaiming the Pardoners’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 33 (2003), 311–34.

Alastair Minnis , ‘Purchasing Pardon: Material and Spiritual Economies on the Canterbury Pilgrimage’, in Lawrence Besserman (ed.), Sacred and Secular in Medieval and Early Modern Cultures (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 63–82.

Bella Millett , ‘Ancrene Wisse and the Conditions of Confession’, English Studies 80 (1999), 193–215.

Christopher Cannon , ‘Enclosure’, in Carolyn Dinshaw and David Wallace (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Women's Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 109–23.

Nicholas Watson , Richard Rolle and the Invention of Authority (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).


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