Special Issue "Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jessica A. Boon
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Religious Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Interests: Christian thought and culture in late medieval and early modern Europe; religion in Spain; mysticism and Passion spirituality; gender and sexuality; history of science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While inter-religious interactions and conflicts are often the focus of research on medieval Iberia, medieval Spain is also the birthplace of major mystics and is the source of significant movements within the mystical and spiritual traditions for each of the Western monotheistic religions. These multiple mysticisms are rarely addressed in one context, however, since thirteenth century figures such as Moses de León (the Zohar) or Ibn al-Arabi (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, the Meccan Revelations) significantly pre-date the first Christian mystical and visionary texts circa 1500. In addition, the associated spiritual developments within each monotheistic religion, such as devotion to the saints, messianic movements, Passion spirituality, or apocalypticism, are seldom brought together in the same venue for scholarly assessments of Spanish mystical or visionary experience. This Special Issue of the journal of Religion seeks to bring together scholarship on the various mystical and spiritual traditions of Spain before 1550, with attention to the historical and political contexts of the mystical work(s) or spiritual movements.

Of particular interest are proposals that either contribute to the study of inter-religious or cross-cultural interactions, or that forefront analyses of embodiment and social location (race, gender, sexuality, disability studies; postcolonial, posthuman, materiality, new materiality, neuroscientific approaches; history of art, emotions, science). By bringing together contributions that reflect the latest developments in methodology for the study of mysticism and spirituality through in-depth case studies embedded in the local particularities of medieval Spanish religious traditions, this Special Issue will be of interest not only to Hispanists, but also to historians of mysticism and religious studies scholars.

The articles are due by 31 October 2019, with a recommended word length of under 10,000 words (with some flexibility as a result of the digital platform for the journal). Contacting the guest editor, Jessica A. Boon ([email protected]), with an abstract of the proposed article by 1 May is encouraged. If there are more than 10 contributors, the volume will also be made available as an e-book.

Dr. Jessica A. Boon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mysticism
  • spirituality
  • Kabbalah
  • Sufism
  • medieval Spain
  • saints
  • embodiment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Problem of Interreligious Peacemaking in the Works of Ramon Llull
Religions 2020, 11(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040206 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this essay is to examine depictions of interior peace, as well as exterior peacemaking in the world, in representative works by Ramon Llull, written during the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. I will show how Llull’s goal of ending [...] Read more.
The purpose of this essay is to examine depictions of interior peace, as well as exterior peacemaking in the world, in representative works by Ramon Llull, written during the later thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. I will show how Llull’s goal of ending conflict involved interreligious dialogue and an attitude of intellectual openness, but at the same time advocated problematic efforts to proselytize religious others that were to be backed up by military force. While the writer’s conceptualization of inner, spiritual combat and peacemaking draws on a number of Christian conventions, we will see how it can also be fruitfully compared to Islamic traditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
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Open AccessArticle
Juana of Castile’s Book of Hours: An Archduchess at Prayer
Religions 2020, 11(4), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11040201 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
This article examines one of Juana of Castile’s books of hours (London, BL Add. MS 18852) comparing it with those written for members of Juana’s family and seeking to discern how it was used, in order to reassess her peers’ evaluation of her [...] Read more.
This article examines one of Juana of Castile’s books of hours (London, BL Add. MS 18852) comparing it with those written for members of Juana’s family and seeking to discern how it was used, in order to reassess her peers’ evaluation of her spiritual affinities. It considers how Juana customized her book of hours with a miniature of the Virgin and Child, comparing it with a gifted panel painted by Rogier van der Weyden that Juana treasured to show how she placed herself under the protection of the Virgin. Numbered precepts would be intended for her to instruct any future children and are replicated in Isabel, her daughter’s, book. The office of the Guardian Angel is compared with similar ones in Spain and Burgundy and, like devotion to St Veronica, such prayer is another means of protection. The striking mirror of conscience with its reflected skull, like other similar objects decorated with a skull that Juana possessed, sought to lift her from the decay and sinfulness of the world to the spiritual realm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
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Open AccessArticle
On Manuscripts, Prints and Blessed Transformations: Caterina da Siena’s Legenda maior as a Model of Sainthood in Premodern Castile
Religions 2020, 11(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010033 - 08 Jan 2020
Abstract
In this article, I analyze the translation commissioned in 1511 by Cardinal Francisco Ximénez Cisneros of the Life of Catherine of Siena by Raimundo da Capua, which includes the legendae of Giovanna (also known as Vanna) da Orvieto and Margherita da Città di [...] Read more.
In this article, I analyze the translation commissioned in 1511 by Cardinal Francisco Ximénez Cisneros of the Life of Catherine of Siena by Raimundo da Capua, which includes the legendae of Giovanna (also known as Vanna) da Orvieto and Margherita da Città di Castello in the light of its translation, commission, and reception in premodern Castile. In the first place, I clarify the medieval transformations of Caterina’s text by discussing the main branches of her manuscript tradition and explaining the specificities of the editions authorized by Cisneros in order to know what exactly was printed. In the second place, I put these specificities into the courtly, prophetic context in which those books were published. Finally, I analyze the reception of these editions in the Iberian Peninsula, especially in relation to the figure of María de Santo Domingo, the famous Dominican tertiary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
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Open AccessArticle
The Moral Dimensions of Sufism and the Iberian Mystical Canon
Religions 2020, 11(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010015 - 28 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study explores the shared spaces and common ground between the moral theosophies of Sufism and Christian mysticism in Spain. This article focuses on how Sufis, Carmelites and other mystical authors expressed spiritual concepts, establishing networks of mutual influence. Medieval and Golden Age [...] Read more.
This study explores the shared spaces and common ground between the moral theosophies of Sufism and Christian mysticism in Spain. This article focuses on how Sufis, Carmelites and other mystical authors expressed spiritual concepts, establishing networks of mutual influence. Medieval and Golden Age mystics of Islam and Christianity shared a cultural canon based on universal moral principles. Both their learned and popular traditions used recurrent spiritual symbols, often expressing similar ethical coordinates. Spiritual dialogue went beyond the chronological and geographical frameworks shared by Christianity and Islam in the Iberian Peninsula: this article considers a selection of texts that contain expansive moral codes. Mystical expressions of Islam and Christianity in Spain are viewed as an ethical, cultural and anthropological continuum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
Open AccessArticle
“El entendimiento con el qual me conoscan”: Intellectual Mysticism in the Visión Deleitable
Religions 2020, 11(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11010005 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
Visión deleytable is a fictional tale based in the Aristotelian philosophical and Neoplatonic mystical beliefs of the Judeo-Arabic tradition of medieval Iberia. This fifteenth-century work of imaginative fiction, a “best-seller” among Iberian readers, tells of the ascent of the active intellect to the [...] Read more.
Visión deleytable is a fictional tale based in the Aristotelian philosophical and Neoplatonic mystical beliefs of the Judeo-Arabic tradition of medieval Iberia. This fifteenth-century work of imaginative fiction, a “best-seller” among Iberian readers, tells of the ascent of the active intellect to the celestial spheres and an experience of God. In this narrative, knowledge of the Latin trivium and quadrivium are combined with that of the Arabo-Andalusi philosophic traditions. Particularly noteworthy is the author, De la Torre’s extensive use of Maimonides’ work, the Guide of the Perplexed, as a source for the wisdom revealed in the Visión deleytable. While Maimonides’ position on the mystic experience is debated by contemporary scholars, in the present study I explore how the concept of intellectual mysticism, applied to the Neoplatonic/Aristotelian model of the intellect’s conjunction with the divine as found in Maimonides’ work, also describes the goal toward which the protagonist (and reader) of the Visión deleytable strive. As such, the Visión deleytable reveals how this notion of human-divine union (most notably in the concept of the “prophet-angel”) from the Judeo-Andalusi tradition, transmitted in Arabic and Hebrew, was translated into Spanish and adopted into the Catholic and converso frameworks of the Visión deleytable in fifteenth-century Iberia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
Open AccessArticle
“A Desora Desperto y vio una Grand Claridat”: The Role of Dreams and Light in the Construction of a Multi-Confessional Audience of the Miracles of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Religions 2019, 10(12), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10120652 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper examines the religious proselytizing agenda of the order of Saint Jerome that ruled the Extremaduran sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe since 1389. To this end, I analyze how the Hieronymite’s used literary motifs such as dreams and light in the [...] Read more.
This paper examines the religious proselytizing agenda of the order of Saint Jerome that ruled the Extremaduran sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe since 1389. To this end, I analyze how the Hieronymite’s used literary motifs such as dreams and light in the codex of the Miracles of the Virgin of Guadalupe to create a multi-confessional audience for their collection of miracles. I contend that these motifs were chosen because they were key elements in the construction of a particular image of the Virgin that could appeal to pilgrims of different faiths. Through them, the Hieronymites evoked in the minds of Muslim pilgrims and Christian captives beyond the sea the imagery and rhetoric of Sufi devotional literature and Islamic hagiography, in order to create a vision of the Virgin that was able to compete with the more important Islamic devotional figures: the Prophet, Sufi masters and charismatic saints. Finally, I explore how the possible influence of North African devotional models, such as the Shadhiliyya order or the hagiography of the Tunisian saint, Aisha al-Manubiyya, suggests that the aims of the monastic authors of this Marian miracles collection went far beyond the conversion of Castilian Muslims, aiming at the transformation of the Extremaduran Marian sanctuary of Guadalupe into a Mediterranean devotional center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
Open AccessArticle
An Orientalist Contribution to “Catholic Science”: The Historiography of Andalusi Mysticism and Philosophy in Julián Ribera and Miguel Asín
Religions 2019, 10(10), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10100568 - 08 Oct 2019
Abstract
This article provides a historiographical analysis of the principal works on Andalusi mysticism and philosophy in Spain at the turn of the twentieth century. It portrays the intellectual background in which the Arabist scholars Julián Ribera (1858–1934) and Miguel Asín Palacios (1871–1944) developed [...] Read more.
This article provides a historiographical analysis of the principal works on Andalusi mysticism and philosophy in Spain at the turn of the twentieth century. It portrays the intellectual background in which the Arabist scholars Julián Ribera (1858–1934) and Miguel Asín Palacios (1871–1944) developed their studies, and their particular “presentist” concerns, highlighting how their works and publications on this field cannot be detached from contemporary national debates on religious issues. The contribution of these Orientalist scholars was especially relevant to the transnational movement in defense of a Catholic science. The adherents of this movement sought ways of stressing the compatibility of dogma with the findings of unbiased scientific works, against the perceived attack to religious doctrine they sensed coming from positivist science. The Spanish Orientalists would bring to light the importance of Eastern Christian thought in the development of medieval Muslim theology, therefore vindicating the Christian origins of Andalusi philosophical and theological production and rendering it easier for the Catholic Spanish public to come to terms with Orientalist queries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mysticism and Spirituality in Medieval Spain)
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