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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on Evert's own perception of his mystical experience, as a structured process of conversion that in part overcame him and that he in part consciously steered. Illness prods the devout person to conversion. In the world of the pious, trials and conversion are two sides of the same coin of godliness. The pious person is quick to understand God's Word. Impious and godless persons, on the other hand, need a more powerful sign. Evert's ordeal in 1622/23 was shaped by the interplay of three distinct forces: traditions, expectations, and personal experience. The double process of mystical experience and deliverance brought his rebirth: his personal rebirth as a mature human being and his social rebirth as a man with a calling and responsibilities that gave structure and meaning to his life in community. One of the hidden dimensions of Evert's religious experience is that of number symbolism.

Keywords: deliverance; Evert Willemsz; mystical experience; number symbolism; personal conversion; pious person; social rebirth



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