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Course
Dutch Mysticism





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Course about Christian spirituality
in a cultural-historical context



Medieval Dutch Mysticism in the Low Countries

Hadewijch and John of Ruusbroec, their faith and way of thinking


Rozemarijn van Leeuwen
© 1999-2001



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Faq  and  additions to the course


these pages still have to be translated
- work in process till end 2023 -


Qustions with respect to the content of the course Medieval mysticism, have afterwards been included within the main text as much as possible. Two kinds of questions have been added here in separate additions:

•  subjects that are part of a background to the course, but went too far away of the main line of reasoning

•  questions that don't fit within the content and purpose of this course, religious questions.




Qustions lecture 1a

  • Germanics, christianity and christianisation

  • origins monotheism


Qustions lecture 4a

  • mariage and love during the Middle Ages


Qustions lecture 4b

  • Kun je de visioenen van Hadewijch opvatten als erotische mystiek?


Religious questions

  • the meaning of older (medieval) religious literature for our time

  • Hoe zou het christelijke geloof, gevormd door vrouwen, eruit hebben gezien?



jacob van maerlant rhyming bible creation

Rhymed Bible (±1270) by Jacob van Maerlant,
the creation in 7 days, in 7 images
-click to magnify-




Additions / hand-outs to the course

  • The Early, High and Late Middle Ages (in 1a)

  • How did they know in the Antiquity that the earth is round? (in 2a)

  • Jesus human and divine hypostasis (2a)

  • The Song of Songs and Bernard of Clairvaux (in 3a)

  • Excerpts from the Song of Songs (3a)

  • Beatrice of Nazareth and Hadewijch (3a)

  • Metaphors used by Hadewijch (xx en 7a)

  • Hadewijchs visioenen en brieven samenvatting (in 4b)

  • Literary references and sources used by Hadewijch (1-4)

  • Literary references and sources used by Ruusbroec (5-7)

  • The virtues according to Plato, the Catholic Church, Hadewijch and Ruusbroec (in 6b)

  • Nowadays esoterism (supplement to 7b)




Original Dutch course


•  This page in Dutch: Veel gestelde vragen en bijlagen.



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Follow the whole course Medieval Dutch Mysticism in the Low Countries online:

    first lesson hour (cultural-historical background) second lesson hour (reading texts)
  1 The Middle Ages What is mysticism?
  2 The medieval world view Hadewijch: vision and mysticism
  3 Hadewijch: glimpse of her life Hadewijch: roads towards God
  4 Women in the Middle Ages Hadewijch: bridal mysticism
  5 Ruusbroec: course of his life Ruusbroec: Active Life
  6 The horrible 14th century Ruusbroec: Inward Life
  7 Image and resemblance of God Ruusbroec: To meet Him




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