Acknowledgments Introduction 1. NOBILITY AS HISTORICAL REALITY AND THEOLOGICAL MOTIF Reconstructing the Medieval Nobility Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: The Beauty of High Birth Hildegard of Bingen: Elitism Upheld Bernard of Clairvaux: Egalitarianism Upheld Le Roman de la Rose: The Nobility of Virtue Hadewijch of Brabant: The Soul's Noble Image and Likeness 2.THE "BEGUINE CLERGERESSE" AND HER MIRROR Neither Lowly Writer Nor Lowly Reader The Text of The Mirror of Simple Souls The Seven-Stage Path to Annihilation "Taking Leave of the Virtues" and Possessing All 3. GOD, THE SOUL, AND NO-THINGNESS God as Trinitarian Ground and Creator The Roots of a Theological Anthropology Creation and Fall of Humanity Fall(s) and Return(s) 4. NOBILITY AND ANNIHILATION The Three Beautiful Considerations Annihilation: The Soul Without a Why Traditional Mystical Metaphors Nobility, Lineage, and Annihilation A "Simple" Noble Soul? Conclusion Appendix Notes Bibliography Index
Joanne Maguire Robinson is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"Porete's work is crucial to the study of late medieval mysticism and Christian women's spirituality. Not only is this the only book-length study of Porete's work, but it will set a very high standard not easily surpassed." - Amy Hollywood, author of The Soul As Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart "Porete's work is really the first time that annihilation and nobility, as a mystical motif, is found within a Christian milieu instead of a Sufi one. Eckhart and Kierkegaard kept coming to mind as I read about Porete's strong affirmation of the status of the individual soul in relation to God, an Eckhartian theme that is nevertheless expressed in a paradoxical language suggestive of Kierkegaard. This book will stimulate further thought and research besides making an important intellectual contribution and adding to our knowledge base." - Thomas Mether, University of South Carolina-Columbia