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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism
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    Renevey, Denis 2013. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism.

    Renevey, Denis 2012. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism.

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    The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English 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.

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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).

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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).

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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).