Ecstatic Transformation: Transpersonal Psychology in the Work of Mechthild of Magdeburg

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Syracuse University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 195 pages
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For the medieval mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg, ecstatic and visionary states expressed not only an intimate relationship with the Divine, but they also served a significant therapeutic function within her religious community. It was through these states that Mechthild articulated a new understanding of Christian spirituality, a remarkably confident view of female teaching authority, and compassion for others.
Ulrike Wiethaus compares Mechthild's mystical teachings with modern concepts of humanistic models of spiritual and psychoanalytical approaches and psychophysiological research on altered states. She uses both historical and contemporary methods as building blocks in the ever-changing dialogue of the unexplored territories of the mind. The medieval model illustrated by Wiethaus offers intriguing avenues of reconceptualization in the converging of body and mind, in soul searching, and in what Western culture calls interpersonal growth.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Ecstatic Experiences in The Flowing Light
23
Bliss Transformation Values
59
Healing and Intuition
99
Visionary Experiences
121
Feeling with the Body of the Soul
149
Bibliography
173
Index
189
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About the author (1996)

Ulrike Wiethaus teaches in the humanities at Wake Forest University.

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