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Mysticism in the Low Countries before Ruusbroec

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the mystical literature of the Low Countries preceding John of Ruusbroec, explores the mystical-spiritual landscape and indicates a number of important elements. In the concise overview of John of Ruusbroec, Albert Deblaere indicated a number of significant elements of this tradition of mystical experience. Stefanus Axters conducted extensive research into the Ruusbroec's sources in this regard. The first volume of his Geschiedenis van de vroomheid in de Nederlanden provides an overview of his findings beginning from the first forms of spirituality after the Christianization of the Low Countries under the Romans. The important influence of William of Saint-Thierry on Ruusbroec was established a considerable time ago. William sketches his conception of the ideal program of Christian intellectual life and William focuses on a certain type of life, which he considers to be the epitome of his subject, namely, the life of a hermit.

Keywords: Albert Deblaere; John of Ruusbroec; Low Countries; mystical literature; Stefanus Axters; William of Saint-Thierry



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