The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism

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Samuel Fanous, Vincent Gillespie
Cambridge University Press, May 12, 2011 - History - 309 pages
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The widespread view that 'mystical' activity in the Middle Ages was a rarefied enterprise of a privileged spiritual elite has led to isolation of the medieval 'mystics' into a separate, narrowly defined category. Taking the opposite view, this book shows how individual mystical experience, such as those recorded by Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, is rooted in, nourished and framed by the richly distinctive spiritual contexts of the period. Arranged by sections corresponding to historical developments, it explores the primary vernacular texts, their authors, and the contexts that formed the expression and exploration of mystical experiences in medieval England. This is an excellent, insightful introduction to medieval English mystical texts, their authors, readers and communities. Featuring a guide to further reading and a chronology, the Companion offers an accessible overview for students of literature, history and theology.
 

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Contents

1215I349ztexts
91
ROGER ELLIS AND SAMUEL FANOUS
133
culture and history
225
Guide to further reading
265
Glossary of theological terms
291
Index
299
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About the author (2011)

Samuel Fanous is Head of Publications at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Vincent Gillespie is J. R. R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford.

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