Focus on the writings of the major writers including Augustine, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed.
This module focuses on the historical tradition of Christian mysticism in Western Christianity up to (not including) the Reformation, the period of its longest sustained development. Seven major writers are treated in detail: Augustine, Dionysius the Areopagite, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross. Some further authors are studied for background, such as Origen. The writings of these authors, in translation, are the central object of study, with historical and cultural considerations brought to their interpretation. A nexus of key themes is followed through the texts and the historical period to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed. The emphasis is historical, to retrieve the medieval history of Christian mysticism for present discussion and nourishment.