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Document Details :
Title: Augustine Baker, O.S.B. - Towards a Re-Assesment
Author(s): CLARK, J.P.H.
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 14 Date: 2004
Fr. Augustine Baker, O.S.B. (1575-1641) was chaplain to the English Benedictine nuns of Cambrai from 1624 to 1633. He is best known for Holy Wisdom, distilled and printed after his death from his treatises of spiritual direction. The publication of a number of hitherto unprinted treatises opens the way to a fresh approach to him. Fr. Baker had a high regard for a number of medieval English spiritual writings, especially for the Cloud of Unknowing; but he belonged to the new world of the Counter-Reformation. Within this context, and nourished by a remarkably wide reading, he was concerned to lead the nuns in a way of prayer that was appropriate to their contemplative vocation. While respectful of the significant contribution made by the Jesuits to the Counter-Reform, he was chary of any simply mechanical application of Ignatian methods in spiritual direction. His affective approach, touched with Pseudo-Dionysian apophaticism, has contact with the Carmelites, and a particularly close bond with the Capuchins Benet Canfield and Constantin de Barbanson.