Medieval Mysticism (4245 words)

Historical Context Essay

Robert Boenig (Texas A&M University)
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The medieval mystics and devotional writers of Western Europe produced a significant body of literature, much of it attaining a high artistic level. They wrote in poetry as well as prose, and though autobiography was a favored mode, they could at times write lyric poems, parables, and even drama. The non-fiction expository treatise was by far the genre they preferred—one that few today would consider “literature”. But medieval people did not think quite so much in terms of genre as we do, and many of the devotional treatises written in the Middle Ages rise to the high level of artistry that we associate with this term.

Surveying a field as vast and varied as that of medieval mysticism demands selectivity, even …

Citation: Boenig, Robert. "Medieval Mysticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2008 [, accessed 24 January 2022.]

5537 Medieval Mysticism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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