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The Origins of the Christian Mystical TraditionFrom Plato to Denys$
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Andrew Louth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291403.001.0001

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Patristic Mysticism and St. John of the Cross

Patristic Mysticism and St. John of the Cross

(p.174) IX Patristic Mysticism and St. John of the Cross
The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition

Andrew Louth (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It has been seen in some of the Fathers the doctrine that as the soul approaches God, it is plunged into the Divine Darkness where God dwells. This appears to bear some similarity to the doctrine of the Dark Night of the soul that is central to the mystical theology of St. John of the Cross. Opinions vary on how closely these two doctrines: the Patristic doctrine of the Divine Darkness and the sanjuanist doctrine of the Dark Night of the Soul, are related. It is, however, an indisputable fact that the medieval tradition which culminates in the Dark Night of St. John of the Cross was fertilized by the writings of Denys the Areopagite and especially his Mystical Theology.

Keywords:   mystical theology, Christian mysticism, divine darkness

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