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Mystiek > Over mystiek > Geschiedenis > Christelijk

Appendix (8)

Middeleeuwen: De elfde eeuw n.C.

The great current of medieaval mysticism first shows itself in the eleventh century, and chiefly in connection with the Benedictine Order; for the work of such monastic reformers as St. Romuald (c. 950-1027), St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), and St. Bruno (1032-1101), the founder of the Grande Chartreuse, was really the effort of contemplative souls to establish an environment in which the mystical life could be lived. Thus too we must regard at least a large proportion of the hermits and solitaries who became so marked a feature in the religion of the West. At this period mysticism was not sharply distinguished from the rest of the religious complex, but was rather the realistic experience of the truths on which religion rests. It spread mainly through personal instruction and discipleship. Its literary monuments were few, among the most important and widely influential being the "Meditations" of St. Anselm (1033-1109), which, disentangled by recent scholarship from the spurious material passing under his name, are now seen to have been a chief channel of transmission for the Augustinian mysticism which dominated the early Middle Ages. The general religious revival of the twelfth century had its marked mystical aspect, and produced four personalities of great historical importance: the Benedictines St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), St. Hildegarde of Bingen (1098-1179), and Joachim of Flora (1132-1202); and the Scotch or Irish Augustinian Richard of St. Victor (ob. c. 1173), whom Dante held to be "in contemplation more than man." Richard's master and contemporary, the scholastic philosopher Hugh (1097-1141) of the same Abbey of St. Victor at Paris, is also generally reckoned amongst the mystics of this period, but with less reason; since contemplation occupies a small place in his theological writings. In spite of the deep respect shown towards him by Aquinas and other theologians, Hugh's influence on later mystical literature was slight. The spirit of Richard and of St. Bernard, on the contrary, was destined to dominate it for the next two hundred years. With them the literature of medieaval mysticism, properly so called, begins.

We zijn vonkjes die spatten uit de eeuwige vlam.
- Carla Pols -

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