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Title: A Sixteenth-Century Mystical Renaissance in the Eastern Netherlands
Author(s): MCGINN, Bernard
Journal: Ons Geestelijk Erf
Volume: 87    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2016   
Pages: 28-49
DOI: 10.2143/OGE.87.1.3200538

Abstract :
The mystical renaissance that took place in the Eastern Netherlands in the mid-sixteenth century has been unduly neglected until recent years in part because the Dutch texts were often difficult of access and almost unknown outside Dutch-speaking lands. This neglect has begun to be overcome in recent research. This important chapter in the history of mysticism is another example of the 'conversation' between learned clerics and mystically-inclined women. As an aspect of Pre-Tridentine Catholic Reform, the Carthusians of St. Barbara at Cologne not only supported the publication and translation of many medieval mystical classics, but also encouraged the writing and printing of a number of vernacular works by women, such as the Beguine Maria van Hout, and the writings associated with the convent of Augustinian nuns at St. Agnes at Arnhem. Important among the writings of the Arnhem circle were the Dutch treatises known as 'The Temple of the Soul' and 'The Evangelical Pearl', both written by an anonymous female. The collection of one hundred and sixty sermons known today as 'The Arnhem Mystical Sermons' also testifies to the creativity of this chapter in the history of Western mysticism.

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