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Light, Life, and Love : selections from the German mystics of the middle ages   By: (1860-1954)

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Light, Life, and Love: Selections from the German Mystics of the Middle Ages, edited by William Ralph Inge, is a remarkable compilation of spiritual writings that delves into the world of German mysticism during the Middle Ages. In this captivating anthology, Inge expertly curates a collection of texts by renowned mystics like Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler, and Heinrich Suso, providing readers with a profound insight into their thoughts and teachings.

The book begins with a captivating introduction where Inge sets the stage for the mystics' writings by explaining the historical and cultural context in which they emerged. This contextual backdrop serves as an excellent foundation for readers unfamiliar with mysticism, ensuring that they can engage with and comprehend the deeper spiritual concepts explored throughout the book.

The selections themselves are beautifully translated and thoughtfully arranged to create a smooth and coherent reading experience. The writings touch upon various themes, including the quest for spiritual enlightenment, the contemplation of divine love, and the means of attaining a true union with God. Each selection resonates with a unique voice, allowing readers to connect with different mystics and their perspectives.

One notable aspect of the book is Inge's insightful and comprehensive commentary, which accompanies each selection. His expertise shines through as he dissects the writings, providing historical context, explaining complex ideas, and highlighting the significance of each passage. This added layer of analysis greatly enriches the reading experience, making the book accessible to both scholars and general readers alike.

Moreover, Light, Life, and Love successfully captures the essence of German mysticism by immersing readers in the mystical experience. The mystics' writings, laden with vivid imagery and intense emotions, transport readers to a realm where the boundaries of the physical and spiritual blur. One cannot help but be inspired and profoundly moved by the depth of their spiritual experiences and the profound insights they gained.

However, it must be noted that this book may not be suitable for readers seeking a light or casual read. The content can be dense and intellectually challenging, requiring careful attention and reflection. Nonetheless, for those interested in exploring the depths of mysticism and delving into the profound thoughts of the German mystics, this anthology is an invaluable resource.

In conclusion, Light, Life, and Love: Selections from the German Mystics of the Middle Ages is a remarkable compilation that offers readers an invaluable glimpse into the world of German mysticism. William Ralph Inge's expert curation, excellent translations, and insightful commentary make this anthology a valuable addition to any spiritual or scholarly library. It is a book that both nurtures the soul and stimulates intellectual inquiry, allowing readers to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment.

First Page:


Selections from the German Mystics of the Middle Ages


W. R. Inge

LONDON Second Edition






TO most English readers the "Imitation of Christ" is the representative of mediaeval German mysticism. In reality, however, this beautiful little treatise belongs to a period when that movement had nearly spent itself. Thomas a Kempis, as Dr. Bigg has said,[1] was only a semi mystic. He tones down the most characteristic doctrines of Eckhart, who is the great original thinker of the German mystical school, and seems in some ways to revert to an earlier type of devotional literature. The "Imitation" may perhaps be described as an idealised picture of monastic piety, drawn at a time when the life of the cloister no longer filled a place of unchallenged usefulness in the social order of Europe. To find German mysticism at its strongest we must go back a full hundred years, and to understand its growth we must retrace our steps as far as the great awakening of the thirteenth century the age of chivalry in religion the age of St. Louis, of Francis and Dominic, of Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas... Continue reading book >>

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