The Mystic Fable: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries / Edition 1

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The culmination of de Certeau's lifelong engagement with the human sciences, this volume is both an analysis of Christian mysticism during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and an application of this influential scholar's transdisciplinary historiography.
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Editorial Reviews

This first volume in a projected series that de Certeau (d. 1986) did not live to complete (a second volume is forthcoming in France) is both a fascinating analysis of Christian mysticism during the 16th and 17th centuries and an exemplary application of this influential scholar's conception of a reinvigorated, transdisciplinary historiography. Translated from the original French edition of 1982 (Editions Gallimard). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226100371
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1995
  • Series: Religion and Postmodernism Series, #1
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,382,209
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

At the time of his death in 1986, Michel de Certeau was a director of studies at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris. Of his many books, The Practice of Everyday Life, The Writing of History, and Heterologies: Discourse on the Other are available in English translation.
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Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Squaring the Mystic Circle
A Historic Formation
I. A Place to Lose Oneself
1. The Monastery and the Public Square: Madness in the Crowd
The Idiot Woman (Fourth Century)
Laughters of Madmen (Sixth Century)
2. The Garden: Delirium and Delights of Hieronymous Bosch
A Paradise Withdrawn
Encyclopedias That Create Absences
Paths Leading Nowhere
Calligraphies of Bodies
II. A Topics
3. The New Science
"Corpus Mysticum," or the Missing Body
"Mystical" as the Adjective of a Secret
The Substantive of a Science
4. Manners of Speaking
Presuppositions: A Linguistic Pragmatics
"Mystic Phrases": Diego de Jesús, Introducer of John of the Cross
III. The Circumstances of the Mystic Utterance
5. The "Conversar"
The "Dialogue"
A Preliminary: The Volo (From Meister Eckhart to Madame Guyon)
6. The Institution of Speech
Whence to Speak?
The "J" Prefacing The Experimental Science (Jean-Joseph Surin)
The Fiction of the Soul, Foundation of The Interior Castle (Teresa of Avila)
IV. Figures of the Wildman
7. The Enlightened Illiterate
Textual Histories (1630-90)
The Angel in the Wilderness
The Legend of the Pauper
8. The "Little Saints" of Aquitaine
The "Deficiencies" of the Science (1606)
The Persecution of "Extraordinary Devotions" (1615-45)
"A Kind of Illuminati"
9. Labadie the Nomad
A Spirit in Search of a Place
The Invention of Extension
Overture to a Poetics of the Body
List of Abbreviations
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