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Ruusbroec in Latin: Impulses and Impediments

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Chapter Summary

Latin was the language by which the works of John of Ruusbroec could penetrate and influence contemporary thinking on mystical theology and on the experiential aspects of mysticism. Many diverse impulses for the introduction of his works into Latin are covering a period that stretches from Ruusbroec's lifetime until the early modern era. Impulses led to translations, the full effect of which was often hindered by some subsequent impediment standing in the way of a wider dissemination. After the effect of a translation had worn out or was brusquely halted, there would follow another impetus for translations and for dissemination initiatives. In the sequence of impulses and impediments for the Latin Ruusbroec translations, people may better understand the rationale behind their capricious trajectory through the Latin world. Jordaens' Latin rendering of the Espousals subsequently became the starting point for a whole range of translation initiatives and evaluations of Ruusbroec's works.

Keywords: early modern era; Espousals; John of Ruusbroec; Latin translations; mystical theology



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