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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Reactions students to the course Medieval Dutch Mysticism in the Low Countries

Student's reactions
(from the evaluations of the course 1999-2001)

  • Very informative and showing love in the expression

  • I didn't know the Middle Ages are so fascinating

  • Hadewijch's writings are both beautiful and appealing

  • Literary as well as religiously an eye-opener

  • The delivery is clear and expressive, the teacher is involved and evokes enthusiasm

  • I learned a lot

  • I really enjoyed it, astonishing en warming

  • Beyond any expectation

  • I read a lot already about mysticism, but this was both very thoroughgoing ànd very clarifying

  • I'm delighted that I signed up

  • I hope that there will be a sequel!

Reactions online readers
(messages in the Guestbook from 2018 onward)

  • I never came across someone writing so academic and factual about mysticism - and at the same time, during the last two lectures, I felt as a matter of speaking 'elevated' and got an overview of mysticism against the background of the medieval thinking...

    A dizzying experience - 'from the highest height till the deepest depth'. It seems to me that I really understand a little bit of mysticism for the first time in my life. Lots of thanks  (Anne, 2022).

  • I would like to thank you so very much for publishing your course 'Medieval Mysticism' online.

    We're only just floating back to the surface, after diving into and exploring Hadewijch's writings. We're so very impressed by her development. Her intelligence, inner strength, autonomy and writing talent are exceptional.

    For the first time in my life I'm touched by a religious text, and deeply!  (Jolande en Gerrit, 2021).

  • How very kind that you've made your course Medieval Mysticism accessible for everyone. I've 'used' it with great pleasure. My compliments for the layout and the very accommodating introduction, which made it very easy for me to familiarise myself with the subject.  (Peter, 2021).

  • I would like to thank you for online sharing your course Medieval Mysticism. I learned a lot and it surely will help me to better understand other mystical texts. (...) I still feel the afterglow of your course!  (Hans, 2020).

Original Dutch course

•  This page in Dutch: Reacties van cursisten.

hildegard creation miniature 4 liber divinorum operum

The creation according to Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). In the center the earth with the four seasons. Around the earth the realms of the planets (white wavelets), home of the nine choirs of angels. Then the stars. Around this, the Empyrean, residence of God. God's love (the red circle) surrounds the entire creation.

(Liber Divinorum Operum, fourth miniature)

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