The Affective Dionysian Tradition in Medieval Northern Europe

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Recent students of mysticism have sharply distinguished monistic from theistic mysticism. The former is more or less identified with the empty consciousness experience and the latter with the love mysticism of such figures as Bernard of Clairvaux. I argue that a sharp distinction between the two is unwarranted. Western medieval mystics, for example, combined the apophatic theology of Dionysius the Areopagite with the erotic imagery of the mystical marriage. Their experiences were clearly theistic but integrally incorporated ”monistic moments’. I conclude by discussing Nelson Pike’s claim that these monistic moments were themselves phenomenologically theistic.
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Archival date: 2018-03-14
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