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Jan Van Ruusbroec On The Trinity, Prayer, And The Nature Of Contemplation

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Chapter Summary

The chapter reveals the significance of Ruusbroec?s theology of Trinity for his understanding of prayer, contemplation, and the acme of the spiritual journey, namely the so-called ?common life.? To understand Ruusbroec?s reservations about quietist practices the chapter examines his Trinitarian theology. This paves the way for an exposition of Ruusbroec?s description of the spiritual transformation of the person in the active, inner and contemplative lives, which culminates in the ?common life.? His major work, The Spiritual Espousals (Die Geestelike Brulocht) is structured accordingly into three books. When discussing the inner life the chapter also specifically examines how his Trinitarian theology shapes his understanding of prayer. Ruusbroec was writing at a time when traditional ?mystical theology? was being gradually replaced by a more experiential understanding of mysticism - a mysticism that had lost its ties with the world of theology, the sacraments, and the life of the church in general.

Keywords: contemplative prayer; Jan Van Ruusbroec; mystical theology; quietist meditation; sacramental life; spiritual transformation; The Spiritual Espousals; Trinitarian theology



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