A Hidden Wisdom: Medieval Contemplatives on Self-Knowledge, Reason, Love, Persons, and Immortality by Van Dyke, Christina

A Hidden Wisdom: Medieval Contemplatives on Self-Knowledge, Reason, Love, Persons, and Immortality

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Medieval philosophy is primarily associated today with university-based disputations and the authorities cited in those disputations. In their own time, however, scholastic debates were recognized as just one part of wide-ranging philosophical and theological discussions. A Hidden Wisdom breaks new ground by drawing attention to another crucial component of these conversations: the Christian contemplative tradition.

The period from 1200 to 1500, in particular, saw a dramatic increase in the production and consumption of mystical and contemplative literature in the 'Christian West', by laypeople as well as religious scholars, women as well as men. A Hidden Wisdom focuses on five topics of particular interest to both scholastics and contemplatives in this period, namely, self-knowledge, reason and its limits, love and the will, persons, and immortality and the afterlife. This focus centers the (often overlooked) contributions of medieval women and demonstrates that when we re-unite scholasticism with its contemplative counterpart, we gain not only a more accurate understanding of the scope of medieval Christian philosophy and theology but also an increased awareness of a deeply practical tradition that builds up as well as tears down, generates as well as deconstructs.

The book's treatment of topics and figures is meant to be representative rather than exhaustive: a tasting menu, rather than a comprehensive study. The choice of topics offers a series of 'hooks' for philosophers to connect their own interests to issues central to medieval contemplative philosophy, while also providing medievalists in other disciplines a fresh lens through which to view these texts.

Author: Christina Van Dyke
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 01/27/2023
Pages: 256
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1lbs
Size: 8.20h x 5.70w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9780198861683

About the Author

Christina Van Dyke, Term Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University and Emerita Professor of Philosophy, Calvin University

Christina Van Dyke is Term Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and Emerita Professor of Philosophy at Calvin University; she received her PhD from the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University in 2000. Professor Van Dyke specializes in medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of gender and her recent work explores how these areas intersect in contemplative literature of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Associate editor of the Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, she has written extensively on metaphysics, persons, and the afterlife in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, on epistemology in Robert Grosseteste, and medieval contemplative philosophy, particularly that authored by women.

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