Joan M. Nuth
(price at publication of review)
Reviewed January 2002; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2001
Joan Nuth is already well known to students of the medieval mystics though her fine book on Julian (Wisdom's Daughter, New York 2001) and this overall survey of Julian, Richard Rolle, Margery Kempe, the Cloud of Unknowing and Walter Hilton is no less impressive. She provides a stimulating and perceptive overview of each of these, together with some valuable historical scene-setting and a very helpful final chapter, in which she considers the value of the medieval mystics for today and their relevance to contemporary prayer. It is arguable that she is too uncritical of Richard Rolle, whose significant undervaluing of neighbour exposes his spirituality to criticisms of self absorption, as well as rendering it perilously attractive to those seeking a comfortable designer-spirituality today. But overall this is a thoroughly recommendable introduction to this rewarding corpus of mystical writings.
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