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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Mysticism (Cambridge Companions to Literature) Paperback – 12 May 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521618649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521618649
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'The reader is left with a clear sense of both the historical development and sheer mass of spiritual writing and thought in medieval England. Seasoned scholars will learn a good deal from this collection, but it will also make an excellent classroom text.' Choice

Book Description

This book is an excellent, insightful introduction to medieval English mystical texts, their authors, readers and communities. Featuring a guide to further reading and a chronology, the Companion offers an accessible overview for students of literature, history and theology.

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Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in the history of Christian mysticism either knows or ought to know the the growth of mysticism in England is important, and that England contributed a great deal to the overall development of mysticism. This Cambridge Companion aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the topic.
It divides the subject into five periods, each of which is covered by two chapters, one on culture and history, and the second entitled "texts". The culture and history chapters each presents an overall picture of the developments that took place in the relevant period, and covers the significant historical figures. These chapters are all of a high standard, and pretty much everyone will find new knowledge and/or understanding.
The "texts" chapters then discuss the more important texts written in the period, with, occasionally, brief extracts from the texts. But since the overview chapters have already mentioned these authors and their importance, there is in consequence a good deal of overlap, and not a great deal of direct interraction with the texts, or not as much as one needs to get a feel for the texts. It would have been better to have our attention drawn to the texts in the overview chapters, and use the intervening chapters to provide us with a number of extracts from the most significant texts. That would, at least in my opinion, given us a direct insight into the most important texts. As it is we never get the opportunity to make our own minds up, or get contact with the writings themselves, and that is a definite loss.
So this is a useful book, but one which could have been more directly informative.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars This is well organized and stimulating introduction to the subject ... 11 Mar. 2016
By Robert W. Howe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is well organized and stimulating introduction to the subject, and helpful in getting a sense of the type of religious experience Henry VIII's reformation was trying to suppress.
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