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Introduction: Expanding The Mystical Canon

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Chapter Summary

The volume is divided into three parts: Larger Trends, Specific Figures, and Interdisciplinary Applications. It opens with four masterful essays which illustrate the &t;survey&t; or &t;overview&t; approach methodologically. Fernando Durán's contribution on religious autobiography is anchored in the notion of genre as its unifying principle. Perhaps the most ambitious piece in this volume in terms of exhaustive coverage, José Adriano de Freitas Carvalho's magisterial treatment of Portuguese mysticism does not define itself by genre, but instead chronologically: it covers the period 1515-1630, which was indeed the apogee of mystical activity throughout much of the Hispanic world. Francisco Morales takes us to another corner of that world in his delightful exposition of the unique synthesis of medieval Christian and indigenous religion in New World Franciscan mystical practice. Finally, Alastair Hamilton encapsulates the history of an entire movement, alumbra -dismo, which flourished in the liminal space between heresy and orthodox practice.

Keywords: Alastair Hamilton; Fernando Durán's; Hispanic world; José Adriano de Freitas Carvalho's; mystical; Portuguese mysticism



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