This volume seeks to explore the origins, context and content of the anchoritic and mystical texts produced in England during the Middle Ages and to examine the ways in which these texts may be studied and taught today. It foregrounds issues of context and interaction, seeking both to position medieval spiritual writings against a surprisingly wide range of contemporary contexts and to face the challenge of making these texts accessible to a wider readership. The contributions, by leading scholars in the field, incorporate historical, literary and theological perspectives and offer critical approaches and background material which will inform both research and teaching.
The approaches to Middle English anchoritic and mystical texts suggested in this volume are many and varied. In this they reflect the richness and complexity of the contexts from which these writings emerged. These essays are offered as part of an ongoing exploration of aspects of medieval spirituality which, while posing a considerable challenge to modern readers, also offer invaluable insights into the interaction between medieval culture and belief.
Contributors: E.A. Jones, Dee Dyas, Valerie Edden, Santha Bhattachariji, Denis Renevey, A.C. Spearing, Thomas Bestul, Liz Herbert McAvoy, Barry A. Windeatt, Alexandra Barratt, R.S. Allen, Roger Ellis, Ann M. Hutchison, Marion Glasscoe, Catherine Innes-Parker