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Spirituality and Eroticism: Corpus Mysticum in Contemporary Dutch Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the positive connections between religiosity and corporeality, more precisely between spirituality and eroticism, in a few specimens of contemporary Dutch literature. There are many well-known examples of such connections in the history of religion and in post-traditional Western religiosity, but not in mainstream Christian spirituality. A few prominent Dutch-speaking authors make constructive use of key themes of the Christian faith in religio-erotic parts of their work. It is noteworthy that these authors, each in his or her own way, relate positively to the Roman Catholic tradition. The chapter pays particular attention to their literary reception of the doctrine concerning the mystical body, which, in the words of Pope Pius XII, highlights "the blessing of our inner connection with the so exalted Head" of the church. The connection of spirituality with eroticism is remarkable in light of the history of the concept corpus mysticum.

Keywords: Christian; Corpus Mysticum; Dutch literature; eroticism; Pope Pius XII; Roman Catholic tradition; spirituality



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