Great Medieval Mystics

Great Medieval Mystics

Audio Sample:

As a profound attempt to enter into personal communion with the divine, mysticism tends to transcend not only the boundaries of human existence but also human language.

And yet efforts to convey the indescribable beauty and intensity of mystical experiences abound.

Now, medieval literature expert Christopher R. Fee, Ph.D., invites you to examine the foremost mystics from the Middle Ages through the lens of their greatest challenge: expression.

In the medieval period, how did religious women and men put into words their intense—and intensely

Audio Sample:

As a profound attempt to enter into personal communion with the divine, mysticism tends to transcend not only the boundaries of human existence but also human language.

And yet efforts to convey the indescribable beauty and intensity of mystical experiences abound.

Now, medieval literature expert Christopher R. Fee, Ph.D., invites you to examine the foremost mystics from the Middle Ages through the lens of their greatest challenge: expression.

In the medieval period, how did religious women and men put into words their intense—and intensely personal—devotional practices, visions, and experiences? And how did those efforts to articulate mystical experiences comport with church doctrine?

As you explore these questions, you will be amazed at how passionately medieval mystics often wrestled to reconcile the theological implications of their personal faiths with patristic understandings of God.

Recognizing that mysticism is a movement limited to neither Christianity nor the Middle Ages, Prof. Fee offers you glimpses into Jewish and Islamic mystic traditions near the end of the course. You’ll conclude with a discussion about the surprising relevance of medieval mysticism to our own postmodern culture.

You’ll rejoice in this fresh approach to the mystical tradition, grounded in history and letters but elevated by the mystery of the soul. A natural and energetic speaker, Prof. Fee sets every aspect of his subject ablaze. You’ll find his enthusiasm infectious.

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Introduction: “Wit It Wel: Love Was His Meaning”

  • Medieval Mysticism: Of Monasteries, Hermits, and Anchorites

Medieval Mystics

  • Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • Meister Eckhart
  • Richard Rolle of Hampole
  • Walter Hilton
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • The Ancrene Wisse
  • “Love was His Meaning:” Julian of Norwich
  •  Margery Kempe
  • Teresa of Ávila
  • The Dark Night of the Soul: Saint John of the Cross

Mystics of the Book: Counterpoints in Medieval Judaism and Islam

  • Kabbalah and Medieval Jewish Mysticism
  • Sufism and Medieval Islamic Mysticism

Post-Reformation Mysticism: Of Protestants, Trembling Faith, and Hearts Strangely Warmed

  • George Fox and the Quakers
  • John Wesley and the Methodists

Conclusion: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

  • Medieval Mysticism in Postmodern Context

Christopher R. Fee is an expert on medieval literature. He is currently Professor of English and the Chair of the English department at Gettysburg College, where he served as the Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities from 2008 to 2011. Named one of the 300 best professors in America by the Princeton Review, Dr. Fee has received a variety of honors, grants, and fellowships for his teaching and research.

Dr. Fee has written numerous articles and given presentations and lectures around the world. His books include Gods, Heroes, and Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain; Mythology in the Middle Ages: Heroic Tales of Monsters, Magic, and Might; The Goddess: Myths of the Great Mother; and Arthur: God & Hero in Avalon. Fee is also editor of the Encyclopedia of American Myth, Legend, and Folklore and the Encyclopedia of Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories in American History. Prof. Fee earned his Ph.D. in English Language at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he was a postgraduate tutor in topics including Old English, Old Norse, and historical linguistics. He is also a frequent visiting faculty member at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen.

Praise for Professor Chris Fee

“Chris Fee is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met. His knowledge of the Middle Ages, and of the Vikings, is exhaustive. I have learned so much from him, and I know all of the listeners will too.”
– Dr. Joshua Eyler, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Adjunct Associate Professor of Humanities at Rice University

“Chris Fee is a tremendously engaging speaker—energetic, organized, and clear. As his students and colleagues in the academy know, Fee is deeply learned, but he wears his learning lightly. You couldn’t ask for a better guide to the ancient world of Northern Europe.”
– Stephen Harris, Ph.D., Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

 

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