Pietists, Protestants and Mysticism: The Use of Late Medieval Spiritual Texts in the Work of Gottfried Arnold, 1666-1714

Overview

From the beginning of pietism in 1675 its proponents and opponents have regularly insisted that the Awakening had direct ties to late medieval mysticism. The author investigates this assertion, centering attention on the life and work of Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714), the Lutheran historian, theologian, and poet, who of all the early pietists had the most wide-ranging knowledge and made the most extensive use of late medieval mystics. The book examines Arnold's use of these mystics in the context of earlier ...

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Overview

From the beginning of pietism in 1675 its proponents and opponents have regularly insisted that the Awakening had direct ties to late medieval mysticism. The author investigates this assertion, centering attention on the life and work of Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714), the Lutheran historian, theologian, and poet, who of all the early pietists had the most wide-ranging knowledge and made the most extensive use of late medieval mystics. The book examines Arnold's use of these mystics in the context of earlier Protestant and Radical Reformers' approach to medieval mystical texts, indicating the ways in which he reshaped medieval concepts to inform his own theological perspective.

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Editorial Reviews

Asbury Theological Journal
...an excellent introduction to the role played by late-medieval mystical writings in the emergence and development of the sixteenth-century Reformation....The presentation is exact and accurate and the analysis acute....a masterful command of the sources and the data....written by one of the few scholars capable of producing it...
Mennonite Quarterly Review
...a broad and useful work. Its ground-breaking contribution...lies in the comparisons of Arnold, Tauler, Ruusbroec and others.
Critical Review of Books on Religion
...breaks new ground....of substantial importance....a helpful thrust in an ecumenical direction....likely to stimulate further research.
Religious Studies Review
This revelation of an irenic spirit operative in the Pietists should point the way to much needed further research on the mutual influence of Catholic and Protestant theologians in the evolution of Christian spirituality.
Review and Expositor
Erb makes a strong case for turning the focus in Arnold studies toward his later poetic and theological works in order to understand Arnold's mature spirituality.
Asbury Theological Journal
...an excellent introduction to the role played by late-medieval mystical writings in the emergence and development of the sixteenth-century Reformation....The presentation is exact and accurate and the analysis acute....a masterful command of the sources and the data....written by one of the few scholars capable of producing it....
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810822818
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Series: Pietist and Wesleyan Studies Series, #2
  • Pages: 329
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter C. Erb (MSL, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies; Ph.D., Toronto) is Professor of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont. and Associate Director of Schwenkenfelder Library, Pennsburg, PA. He has published extensively on the Radical Reformation and pietism and is studying theories of tradition in nineteenth-century Catholicism.

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