Theological Division


Historical Theology


Richard A. Muller

Reader 1

David Rylaarsdam


Mariano Avila


Joan Beelan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Mystics, Eschatology, Medieval era


New developments in the study of Western Christian mysticism demand that the mystics be interpreted theologically if we are to accept the mystics on their own terms and take them seriously. This study argues that the medieval mystics in Europe up to the 13th century understand their work to be eschatological in nature, interpreting the mystical experience of union with the Divine as an inbreaking or foretaste of the eschaton. Reading Hadewijch of Antwerp, a 13th century Dutch mystic, together with contributions from Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clarivaux, and Hildegard of Bingen, this study attempts to demonstrate that the medievals understand the eschatological promise of the visio dei to be a reality already accomplished through the work of Christ, a reality which is thus assured in the life to come and accessible in some limited sense to individuals in this life. The mystical experience is possible because the eschatological reality which it anticipates is already accomplished in the work of incarnation and resurrection.



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