Download Angela of Foligno's Memorial by Cristina Mazzoni, John Cirignano PDF

By Cristina Mazzoni, John Cirignano

Angela of Foligno is taken into account by means of many because the maximum mystical voice between Italian medieval girls. She dedicated herself to a constant pursuit of God while as a middle-aged girl she misplaced her mom, husband and kids; illiterate herself, she dictated her reports to her confessor, who transcribed her phrases into Latin because the Memorial. In an instantaneous and lively sort, it tells of her anguish, visions, pleasure, identity with Christ, and at last her mystical union with God. besides the fact that, her ebook has continually been considered with suspicion, certainly even bordering on heresy; her spirituality is going past traditional language in addition to past authorized doctrines and modes of prayer. This annotated choice from the Memorial is preceded by way of a biographical creation which locations Angela's textual content in its ancient, cultural, and religious context; the accompanying interpretive essay which follows compares Angela's event with that of twentieth-century Christian feminist theologians. the amount is finished with an annotated bibliography.

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Angela's Writings and Spirituality: the Memorial Mystical literature is often described as an oxymoron, for common sense demands that the experience of what goes beyond language cannot be verbalized. Yet, if mystical experience were truly ineffable, as numerous mystics and critics have repeatedly claimed, then the vast majority of non-mystics would have no access to it, for the evidence of mysticism is constituted for most of us by texts alone. And these texts, as anyone familiar with them knows, are long, often even prolix, and frequently characterized by their authors' skill in linguistic usage.

Both medieval women mystics and contemporary feminists underline, in their practice and/or in their theory, the potential of women's association with corporeality in terms of their acquisition of knowledge women's ability, that is, to attain and to express knowledge in and through their bodies. This association, it should be noted, is equally debased by the more or less overt misogyny of medieval theology and of modern positivistic medicine. For the medieval mystic, and certainly for Angela, embodiment is necessary for redemption, as well as for one's own knowledge of such redemption a personal necessity theologically grounded in the redemption of humanity through the Incarnation of God in Christ.

The division of the soul's ascent into a numerical sequence was a practice quite common during the medieval period, and it frequently patterned itself after John Climacus's Ladder of Paradise or Ladder of Divine Ascent. On Angela's companion, see the Introduction, p. 2. Page 24 The second step is a confession of sin accompanied by shame and bitterness. At this point the soul feels no love, only pain. She told me how she often received communion while still in a state of sin, because she was too ashamed to make a full confession.

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