This book emerged from my doctoral dissertation for the degrees of Doctor of Theology at the Catholic University in Leuven and Doctor of Arts in Literature at the University of Antwerp, defended in 2011. This project was funded by FWO Research Foundation Flanders. Several years of further reflection and research have led to the publication of this work. Many people have contributed to the completion of the doctoral dissertation and its transformation into this book. First, I would like to express my gratitude to the supervisors of my PhD thesis, Prof. Dr. Rob Faesen and Prof. Dr. Kees Schepers, for their valuable insights, suggestions, and the time and energy they invested. I am also indebted to the members of my dissertation reading committee, Prof. Dr. Thom Mertens, Prof. Dr. Christoph Burger, and Prof. Dr. Joris Geldhof, for their critical remarks and valuable suggestions. I also wish to thank the supervisors of my masters in theology and my bachelor of arts in history from Leiden University, Prof. Dr. W. Janse and Dr. A Janse, who laid the foundations of my scholarly formation.
I am tremendously grateful for the support of many friends and colleagues in the faculties that I have been part of: the Research Unit of History of Church and Theology in Leuven and the Ruusbroec Institute in Antwerp (2007–2011), and the Jesuit College of Spirituality, University of Divinity in Melbourne (2013 to present). The in-depth readings by and feedback from Lieve Uyttenhove and Satoshi Kikuchi proved indispensable in creating this book. I wish to thank the University of Divinity for their research grant enabling the professional linguistic editing and proofreading of the manuscript. A big thank you to Syd C’ de Baca for this editing. Throughout the process, I have been greatly supported by the team of Brill Publishers as well, for which I am grateful.
Last but not least, I wish to thank my friends and family who have supported me throughout the process of exploring my passion for the medieval mystics, writing a dissertation and then turning this into a book. I include my parents, husband, daughters and son for their encouragement and support in many ways.