THE MEDIEVAL MYSTICS OF ENGLAND by Eric Colledge

THE MEDIEVAL MYSTICS OF ENGLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The art and the practice of meditation and contemplation upon God's mysteries and that supreme mystery of the nature of God himself, leading often to a vision of God, has not widely appealed to the modern generation of Christians. Indeed, as they read the language of ecstasy and adoration which the mystics of old have used to express their love and longing for God and His love for them, they are often embarrassed, even if they understand. A felling of such intimacy so openly expressed may almost seem indecent if not unknown to those who have been taught that religion at its deepest level is a private and secret affair. Could they be brought to read such an anthology as Mr. Eric Colledge gives us from the medieval mystics of England, prefaced by a long and scholarly chapter which relates one mystic to another at the deepest spiritual level, they might perhaps conclude that what passes for useful and respectable religion and devotion today is a pale thing at best. These readings which take us from St. Aslred's Mirror of Love to excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe have an ecstatic warmth which might bring the reader to be aware that he is missing much in his spiritual life. As it is, such a book as this will appeal greatly to the few mystics who survive in the world of too solid sense, and to scholars of the history of the spiritual development of those who thought that even the medieval world, with its painting, sculpture, architecture, music, ballads, romances and plays was a world to be rejected and well lost in favor of a closer communion with God.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1961
Publisher: Scribner