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Document Details :
Title: Mystiek en Hagiografie
Subtitle: Hoe benadert de anonieme auteur van Vita Beatricis het verschijnsel mystiek?
Author(s): FAESEN, Rob
Journal: Ons Geestelijk Erf
Volume: 73 Issue: 2-3 Date: juni-september 1999
A comparison of the Middle Duch text of Seven manieren van minne by Beatrice of Nazareth and the Latin paraphrase of this text in the Vita Beatricis shows that the biographer tried to avoid as much as possible expressions which refer to the mystical experience as a direct and passive experience of the presence of God. On the other hand, it is striking that the same author is presenting such experiences in the life of Beatrice and that, against the contemporaneous theological trends, he explicitly argues in favour of the possibility of such experiences. The reason for this contrast is probably that the biographer makes a sound distinction between holiness and mysticism. In his Vita Beatricis he depicts a holy life, worthy to be imitated. He affirms that mystical experiences were certainly real in the life of Beatrice, but they were free gifts of God. The biographer thus tries to discourage the reader from thinking that mystical experiences necessarily belong to a holy life, and should be imitated.