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The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

William Johnston

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Theology

“The Cloud of Unknowing” was the work of an unknown 14th-century English writer with a powerful message of God's unconditional love in the face of despair. This book's theological treatment of this ... More


Fantasy and Language in The Cloud of Unknowing *

J.A. Burrow

in Essays on Medieval Literature

Published in print:
1984
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780198111870
eISBN:
9780191670657
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198111870.003.0008
Subject:
Literature, Early and Medieval Literature

This chapter discusses a certain passage in The Cloud of Unknowing, which asserts that the disordered imagination feeds the mind with ‘fantasies’ that can be physical or spiritual. This literary work ... More


Don't Look Now

Jessica Gildersleeve

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
February 2021
ISBN:
9781911325482
eISBN:
9781800342323
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.3828/liverpool/9781911325482.001.0001
Subject:
Film, Television and Radio, Film

Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now (1973) has been called “a ghost story for adults.” Certainly, in contrast to the more explicitly violent and bloodthirsty horror films of the 1970s, Don't Look Now seems ... More


“To an Unknown God”: Paul and Mystical Union

Charles M. Stang

in Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite: "No Longer I"

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780199640423
eISBN:
9780191738234
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640423.003.0005
Subject:
Religion, Early Christian Studies, Religion and Literature

Chapter Four traces Dionysius' appeals to Paul as he heightens the tension between the immanence and transcendence of God in the opening chapters of The Divine Names. I argue that his understanding ... More


General Conclusion

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0020
Subject:
Religion, Theology

The principal point made in this book is that the author's doctrine leads to a form of prayer that is no more than an intensification of the ordinary Christian life. The first part of the book ... More


Introduction

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0001
Subject:
Religion, Theology

This chapter provides a background to the works of the anonymous English author of The Cloud of Unknowing. This man belongs to a mystical trend known as “apophatic” because of its tendency to ... More


The Problem of Unknowing

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0002
Subject:
Religion, Theology

The author of The Cloud constantly plays on the paradoxical theme of “knowing” and “unknowing”. Since God cannot be known by any activity of the reasoning power, the author tells his disciples to ... More


The Cloud of Forgetting

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0003
Subject:
Religion, Theology

This chapter considers the paradoxical statement that, on the one hand, God cannot be known, and on the other hand, He can be known by unknowing. It notes three things based on the doctrine of ... More


The Cloud Of Unknowing

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published in print:
2000
Published Online:
March 2011
ISBN:
9780823220748
eISBN:
9780823236824
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0004
Subject:
Religion, Theology

This chapter examines the meaning of the cloud and the dark knowledge it symbolizes. Mystical knowledge is dark, obscure, and found in a cloud. The author explains that the cloud he speaks of is a ... More


Resisting the Reification of Religion

Madhuri M. Yadlapati

in Against Dogmatism: Dwelling in Faith and Doubt

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
April 2017
ISBN:
9780252037948
eISBN:
9780252095207
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:
10.5406/illinois/9780252037948.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter turns to the responsibility to resist dogmatism and examines doubt as an active project of the spiritual life. It first briefly surveys some prominent modern thinkers who criticize ... More


Living Religion: On the Possibility of a Spiritual Sense

James W. Jones

in Living Religion: Embodiment, Theology, and the Possibility of a Spiritual Sense

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
March 2019
ISBN:
9780190927387
eISBN:
9780190927417
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190927387.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religious Studies, Philosophy of Religion

An embodied approach to human understanding can ground the case for a “spiritual sense” and for understanding religious knowledge as a form of perception, especially if proprioception (and not just ... More


The Cloud of Unknowing and Related Tracts

Wolfgang Riehle

in The Secret Within: Hermits, Recluses, and Spiritual Outsiders in Medieval England

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
August 2016
ISBN:
9780801451096
eISBN:
9780801470936
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:
10.7591/cornell/9780801451096.003.0007
Subject:
History, European Medieval History

This chapter examines The Cloud of Unknowing and the texts related to it. The Cloud of Unknowing, attributed to a late fourteenth-century young author, continues the English apophatic tradition. ... More


Walter Hilton: England’s Mystic Theologian

Wolfgang Riehle

in The Secret Within: Hermits, Recluses, and Spiritual Outsiders in Medieval England

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
August 2016
ISBN:
9780801451096
eISBN:
9780801470936
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:
10.7591/cornell/9780801451096.003.0008
Subject:
History, European Medieval History

This chapter focuses on Walter Hilton, England's mystic theologian. Walter Hilton is regarded as the actual theologian of English mysticism. His intellectual and literary activity belongs to the last ... More


The Agnostic Root: Being Open by Saying “I Don’t Know”

Jerome P. Baggett

in The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience: Atheism in American Culture

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9781479874200
eISBN:
9781479857395
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:
10.18574/nyu/9781479874200.003.0006
Subject:
Religion, Religion and Society

This chapter demonstrates how atheists acknowledge their unknowing about certain questions of human existence and, in so doing, present and even experience themselves as people who are exceptionally ... More


Shakespeare’s plays as passional cycles: revealing the unconscious in chiastic symmetry

Robert Lanier Reid

in Renaissance Psychologies: Spenser and Shakespeare

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9781526109170
eISBN:
9781526121134
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:
10.7228/manchester/9781526109170.003.0007
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare Studies

Shakespearean dramaturgyhighlightsapprehending a wondrous other:intense epiphanic encounters arefulcrums ofpassional cycles. Each play forms a chiastic symmetry, beginning with a two-act cycle (act 2 ... More


Feeling Time, Will, and Words: Vernacular Devotion in The Cloud of Unknowing

Eleanor Johnson

in Staging Contemplation: Participatory Theology in Middle English Prose, Verse, and Drama

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
January 2019
ISBN:
9780226572031
eISBN:
9780226572208
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226572208.003.0002
Subject:
Literature, Early and Medieval Literature

This chapter focuses on the anonymously-authored The Cloud of Unknowing, a mystical treatise of the late fourteenth century, to argue that this prose work is far more than simply a how-to manual. ... More


“And Truth—So Manifold!”: Transfeminist Entanglements

Catherine Keller

in Intercarnations: Exercises in Theological Possibility

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
January 2018
ISBN:
9780823276455
eISBN:
9780823277094
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fordham/9780823276455.003.0003
Subject:
Religion, Theology

This chapter examines the sense of transit, transition, and translation involved in the nonlinear and necessary evolution of feminism under the heading of transfeminism. More specifically, it ... More


Types of Meditation

Halvor Eifring

in Asian Traditions of Meditation

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
May 2017
ISBN:
9780824855680
eISBN:
9780824873028
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:
10.21313/hawaii/9780824855680.003.0002
Subject:
Society and Culture, Asian Studies

This essay distinguishes between directive meditation, which seeks to bring about inner transformation by means of outside-in processes, and non-directive meditation, which builds on inside-out ... More


Richard of St Victor

Lydia Schumacher

in The History of Scottish Theology, Volume I: Celtic Origins to Reformed Orthodoxy

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
October 2019
ISBN:
9780198759331
eISBN:
9780191819889
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198759331.003.0003
Subject:
Religion, History of Christianity, Theology

Although under-researched by comparison to his earlier contemporary, Hugh, Richard of St Victor’s work in spirituality and theology was highly innovative in its own day. Richard was the first to ... More


Becoming Undone: Mirabai, Hadewijch, and Dispossession

Holly Hillgardner

in Longing and Letting Go: Christian and Hindu Practices of Passionate Non-Attachment

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
November 2016
ISBN:
9780190455538
eISBN:
9780190455552
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190455538.003.0007
Subject:
Religion, Theology

As Hadewijch’s and Mirabai’s practices of longing heighten their senses of vulnerability in unique ways, their longings can be said, to use the language of Judith Butler, to “dispossess” their senses ... More


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