Publication Date

1969

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Kinser, Samuel C.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of History

LCSH

Reformation--Early movements||Mysticism

Abstract

A preliminary reading of the writings and sermons of several pre-Reformation German-Dutch mystics reveals that they contain references to two means of salvation. The first of these, based upon the neo-Platonic concept of God as the origin and final end of man, provides that man may attain salvation through the establishment of a direct and personal relationship with God in the course of which there is a growth of divine influence in the soul. This relationship can be accomplished only after man detaches himself from creatures and denies his self-will. The second means is that provided by the grace-giving and disciplinary institutions of the Church. The fact that there are references to two means of salvation poses the question: If the mystics believe it possible to attain salvation through the establishment of a direct and personal relationship with God do they believe that the grace-giving and disciplinary institutions of the Church are also necessary for salvation? This thesis represents an attempt to answer that question. Because it is impossible to examine the recorded thought of all pre-Reformation German-Dutch mystics this writer has chosen to examine the recorded thought of seven of the most prominent of these mystics. The seven mystics considered are Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), Heinrich Suso (1295-1366), John Tauler (1300-1361), the Frankfurter who wrote the Theologia Qermanica in the latter part of the fourteenth century, Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), Gerard Groote (1340-1384), and Thomas a Kempis (1330-1471). Each of these mystics had either a direct or indirect affiliation with either the Friends of God or the Devotio Moderna--the two most prominent pre-Reformation German-Dutch mystical traditions. The seven mystics were also connected by personal and group associations and formed a chain of direct and indirect relationships extending through time from Eckhart to a Kempis.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references.

Extent

178 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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