Ruusbroec's Legacy. Mystical Writings and Charismatic Teaching in the Fourteenth Century
(Geert Warnar) The Low Countries - 2008, № 16, pp. 207-211
There was no discrepancy between the intellectual Ruusbroec, as he addresses the reader in his writings, and the impassioned mystic, for whom people flocked to Groenendaal from far and wide. The wondrous – and essential – ingredient of Ruusbroec's medieval and possibly also his modern appeal was precisely the combination of intellectual and charismatic authority in one and the same person. Theologians in the upper reaches of the University of Paris debated Ruusbroec's theories of unity with God, but his admirers saw the author of the Espousals as, above all, a man suffused with divine inspiration. The teacher's presence is at least as important as his lessons. Medieval readers must have sought in Ruusbroec's writings first and foremost the reflection of an exemplary figure. That is a surprising thought, especially now, when the majestic Opera Omnia implicitly invites us to focus on this body of writing as Ruusbroec's great legacy.
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