Mechthild of Magdeburg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mechthild of Magdeburg
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mechthild (or Mechtild) of Magdeburg (c. 1207 – c. 1282/1294), a Beguine, was a medieval mystic, whose book Das fließende Licht der Gottheit (The Flowing Light of Divinity) described her visions of God.

1 Life 2 Works 3 References 4 Modern editions 5 Further Reading

Definite biographical information about Mechthild is scarce; what is known of her life comes largely from scattered hints in her work. She was probably born to a noble Saxon family, and claimed to have had her first vision of the Holy Spirit at the age of twelve.[1] In 1230 she left her home to become a Beguine at Magdeburg.[2] There, like Hadewijch of Antwerp, she seems to have exercised a position of authority in a beguine community.[3] In Magdeburg she became acquainted with the Dominicans and became a Dominican tertiary. [4] It seems clear that she read many of the Dominican writers.[5] It was her Dominican confessor, Henry of Halle, who encouraged and helped Mechthild to compose The Flowing Light.[6] Her criticism of church dignitaries, religious laxity and claims to theological insight aroused so much opposition that some called for the burning of her writings. With advancing age, she was not only alone, and the object of much criticism but she also became blind.[7] Around 1272, she joined the Cistercian nunnery at Helfta, who offered her protection and support in the final years of her life, and where she finished writing down the contents of the many divine revelations she claimed to have experienced. According to Professor Kate Lindemann, it speaks much of this community and its Abbess, that they would embrace a woman who was over 60 years of age, in poor health and so isolated by society. It is unclear whether she actually formally joined the Cistercian community or if she simply resided there and participated in the religious services but did not take Cistercian vows.[7] The nuns of Helfta were highly educated and important works of mysticism survive from Mechthild’s younger contemporaries, St. Mechthild of Hackeborn and St. Gertrude the Great. It is unclear when Mechthild died. 1282 is a commonly cited date, but some scholars believe she lived into the 1290s.[8]

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Bert. pp222-3. ^ Flowing Light 4. After joining the community of Cistercian nuns at Helfta around 1272. Kate. 7. 2. she added a seventh book.[7] Mechthild’s writing is exuberant and emotional: her descriptions of her visions are filled with passion. there is no substantial evidence for this and there are important differences in Dante's conception of Hell. [10] What is unusual about her writings is that she composed her work in middle low German at a time when most wisdom literature was composed in Latin. 6. 4. p223. The Flowering of Mysticism.Mechthild of Magdeburg . While her work was translated into Latin during her lifetime. Her work has been increasingly studied. The Flowering of Mysticism. This version survives complete in one manuscript and in fragmentary form in three others. Women Philosophers (http://www.loyolapress. Her feast day is 19 November. Firstly.2. Dominican friars of the Halle community translated the first six books into Latin. Voices of the Saints. (1998) /saints-stories-for-kids. ^ Flowing Light 4.html) ^ Bernard McGinn. 3. During the next decade Mechthild added a sixth book. 5. However. p223. There appear to have been three stages in the evolution of the work. the secular priest Henry of Nördlingen translated The Flowing Light into the Alemannic dialect of Middle High German. the dialect of northern Germany.7. This original version is now Works Mechthild’s writings are formed of the seven books that constitute Das fliessende Lichte der Gottheit (The Flowing Light of the Godhead). in the character of Matelda. (1998). ^ Bernard McGinn..2. References 1. ^ Bernard McGinn. Thus she is remembered as an early proponent and popularizer of German as a language worthy of the divine and holy. Her images of Hell are believed by some scholars to have influenced Dante Alighieri when he wrote The Divine Comedy. the free encyclopedia http://en.[4] Asteroid 873 Mechthild is named in her honour. ISBN 978-0-8294-2806-3 (http://www. who published the first edition. but was rediscovered in the late 19th century by Pater Gall Morel. Then.[9] The Flowing Light was originally written in Middle Low German. The Flowering of Mysticism. around 1290. ^ Flowing Light 4. which was composed between 1250 and 1280. Modern editions 2 of 3 6/14/13 12:34 AM . (1998).htm?cId=402720) ^ See for example the influence of the friars in Flowing Light 4. The first five books were finished by about 1260. however.wikipedia. ^ a b Ghezzi. rather different in tone from the previous six.20-22. The text survives in two later versions. ^ a b c Lindemann PhD. 9. 8. Her work was largely forgotten by the 15th century. 10.Wikipedia. Loyola in the mid-fourteenth century.2. ^ Flowing Light 6. both for its academic interest and as a work of devotional literature. and Mechthild is thought to have been represented by Dante in that work.

edited by the Monks of /books?id=lqLmyzRgrBgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+flowing+light&source=bl& ots=_JP5xlXzBC&sig=iFrBBBq328XnUsbNaQLohDL8RNE&hl=de&ei=b8qHS7epNoX4Abq4JzkDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CB0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage& q=&f=false) and review (http://findarticles. Inc. Translated and introduced by Frank Tobin. Paulist Press. 1875-77). Deutscher Klassiker Verlag.wikipedia. Franfurt a. the free encyclopedia http://en. Preface by Margot Schmidt. By Mechthild of Magdeburg.php?title=Mechthild_of_Magdeburg& oldid=557877079" Categories: 1210 births 1285 deaths Christian theologians Christian mystics 13th-century women writers German Roman Catholic religious sisters and nuns German women writers Women of medieval Germany Rhineland mystics Female saints Beguines and Beghards German religious biography stubs Christian biography stubs This page was last modified on 1 June 2013 at Mechthild von Magdeburg: Das fließende Licht der Further Reading Bernard McGinn. The Flowering of Mysticism. pp222-244. The Latin text of Mechthild's work is printed Sororis Mechtildis Lux Divinitatis Fluens in Corda Veritatis. additional terms may apply.. Edited and translated by Gisela Vollmann-Profe. 3 of 3 6/14/13 12:34 AM . München 1990 (Münchener Texte und Untersuchungen zur deutschen Literatur des Mittelalters 100) The Flowing Light of the Godhead. New York and Mahwah. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation.Wikipedia. (Paris/Poitiers: Oudin. Edited by Hans Neumann. Most English translations are based on the German manuscripts of Mechthild's work. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. By using this site. 2003 (Bibliothek des Mittelalters 19) ISBN 3-618-66195-9 Mechthild von Magdeburg "Das fließende Licht der Gottheit".Mechthild of Magdeburg . Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. NJ 1998 (Classics of Western Spirituality Series) online (http://books. M. (1998). Retrieved from "http://en. a non-profit organization. Nach der Einsiedler Handschrift in kritischem Vergleich mit der gesamten Überlieferung. 1: Text. Tom. vol 2 of Revelationes Gertrudianae et Mechtildianae.

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