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Document Details :

Title: The Seventeenth Century Crisis of Mysticism in the Society of Jesus
Subtitle: The Analysis of Jean-Joseph Surin, S.J. (1600-1665)
Author(s): FAESEN, Rob
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 71    Issue: 3   Date: 2010   
Pages: 268-288
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.71.3.2061175

Abstract :
Michel de Certeau has analysed the historical context of the debated 'new devotion to Saint Joseph' among the young generation of Jesuits in the first decades of the seventeenth century. This devotion appears to have been of great symbolic value since, in a hidden way, it refers to the contemplative, mystical life. One of the protagonists of the debate, the French Jesuit mystic Jean-Joseph Surin (1600-1668), offers his own analysis of the crisis of mysticism in the Jesuit Order. In his view, some members of the Order fundamentally misunderstand the content of the mystical experience. Seen in a broader perspective, these miscomprehensions can be explained by the incapability to understand the idea of the ‘indwelling’ of Christ in the human person, erroneously understood as a merging of both. The nominalistic concept of the human person as an individual (and not as relational, like in the mystical tradition) is probably responsible for this intellectual incapacity.