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Communitas Christiana: The Sources of Christian Tradition in the Construction of Early Castilian Spiritual Literature, ca. 1400–1540

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Chapter Summary

Taking this historiographical background into account, this chapter proposes the supersession of Romantic perspectives and the abandonment of the mythical question on the origins of sixteenth century Spanish mysticism, which necessarily involves drawing a more accurate historical contextualisation with the aid of the large number of documents published over the last few decades. It advocates a historical perspective which regards Western Europe between the late Middle Ages and the early sixteenth century as a cultural community of which the Iberian Christian kingdoms were full members; all nations within this West (including Castile, the Low Countries, England, and Italy), these Christianitas, shared the same Church and the same religious orders, had similar legal structures, participated in the same university system, and were affected laterally by movements towards religious reform.

Keywords: Christian spiritual literature; Christian tradition; Communitas Christianitas; Western Europe



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