A Companion to John of Ruusbroec

Editors: John Arblaster and Rob Faesen
John of Ruusbroec (1293-1381) is one of the most important mystical authors in the Christian tradition. This Companion provides a comprehensive overview of Ruusbroec studies, including a survey of the mystical tradition in the Low Countries before Ruusbroec, a discussion of his life and works, the manuscript tradition, the most significant mystical-theological and literary themes, Latin translations of his work, and the widespread resonance of his thought across Europe until 1800. Finally, it offers a summary of secondary research since the nineteenth century. To complement the range of scholarly articles, this Companion also includes the first English translation of a series of Middle Dutch texts that offer deeper insight into Ruusbroec, his thought, and his mystical and literary context.

Contributors include: Jos Andriessen, John Arblaster, Guido De Baere, Rob Faesen, Bernard McGinn, Hilde Noë, Kees Schepers, Loet Swart, Rik Van Nieuwenhove, and Lieve Uyttenhove.

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John Arblaster is a research associate in theology at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven). His research focuses on the doctrine of deification in the Latin West, with a particular emphasis on authors from the late medieval Low Countries.

Rob Faesen (PhD, University of Antwerp, 1997) is professor of theology at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and of arts at the University of Antwerp. He has published extensively on Ruusbroec and the Middle Dutch mystical tradition.
“The articles in A Companion to John of Ruusbroec are solid, lucid, and rooted in Ruusbroec’s writings and the relevant secondary literature. They address satisfactorily the central questions associated with his life, mysticism, manuscript tradition, influence, and historiography. Moreover, enhancing and providing further clarification … are numerous maps and illustrations (several of which are in color), including maps of fourteenth-century Brussels and Ruusbroec’s world in the Brabant, and images of manuscript versions of his works as well as printed editions. Indeed, the Companion is a superlative collection of articles and could certainly now be considered the starting point for native English speakers – and really anyone – interested in John of Ruusbroec.”
Andrew J.G. Drenas, University of Massachusetts-Lowell. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 45, No. 1 (2015), pp. 148-150.

“the present volume is a welcome contribution to the work of this important late medieval mystic.”
John T. Slotemaker, Fairfield University. In: Religious Studies Review, Vol. 42, No. 4 (December 2016), p. 302.

List of Contributors
List of Maps and Illustrations
John Arblaster & Rob Faesen
Mysticism in the Low Countries Before Ruusbroec
John Arblaster & Rob Faesen
John of Ruusbroec’s Life and Works
John Arblaster & Rob Faesen
Ruusbroec in Edition: Manuscript and Print
Guido de Baere
Ruusbroec the Author
Hilde Noë
Essential Themes in Ruusbroec’s Mysticism
Bernard McGinn
Ruusbroec as a Theologian: The Holy Spirit
Lieve Uyttenhove
Ruusbroec, Jordaens, and Herp on the Common Life: The Transformation of a Spiritual Ideal
Rik Van Nieuwenhove
Ruusbroec in Latin: Impulses and Impediments
Kees Schepers
Ruusbroec’s Influence Until c.1800
Jos Andriessen
Overview of Ruusbroec Research
Loet Swart
Appendices (Middle Dutch texts related to Ruusbroec translated by John Arblaster):
Appendix One: Pseudo-Hadewijch
Appendix Two: Two Poems attributed to Ruusbroec
Appendix Three: The Prologue by Brother Gerard of Saintes
Appendix Four: The Epilogue by the ‘Descendant’ (Nacomelinc)
Appendix Five: The Eulogy of John of Ruusbroec by Jan van Leeuwen
All those interested in European intellectual history, medieval history, the history of the Low Countries, mystical literature, mystical theology, and Middle Dutch literature.