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Document Details :
Title: 'Blessed Are Those Who Mourn'
Subtitle: The Coexistence and Paradoxical Conjunction of Joy and Suffering
Author(s): FORTIN, Jean-Pierre
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 29 Date: 2019
In their landmark texts, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich and Catherine of Siena relate a profound experience of joy involving a concomitant and as intense experience of suffering in its physical, psychological, moral and spiritual dimensions. Combining gifts of vision with analytical and pedagogical/political skills, these 13th-14th century female mystics practiced a kind of lived theology that naturally led them to produce spiritual self-narratives as an integral component of their spiritual formation. Retrieving, unpacking and articulating from within their personal experience of the powerful presence of God, they teach how to do theology without using abstract language and categories. They thus construe human existence as intimate transformative interaction with the living God apt to empower the human person to find ‘robust’ joy, which can be experienced and sustained in and despite of spiritual desolation and suffering.