The Mystical Science of the Soul: Medieval Cognition in Bernardino de Laredo's Recollection Method
Published: December 2012© 2012
352 Pages, 6.33 x 9.27 x 1.03 in
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The Mystical Science of the Soul explores the unexamined influence of medieval discourses of science and spirituality on recogimiento, the unique Spanish genre of recollection mysticism that served as the driving force behind the principal developments in Golden Age mysticism. Building on recent research in medieval optics, physiology, and memory in relation to the devotional practices of the late Middle Ages, Jessica A. Boon probes the implications of an ‘embodied soul’ for the intellectual history of Spanish mysticism.
Boon proposes a fundamental rereading of the key recogimiento text Subida del Monte Sión (1535/1538), which melds the traditionally distinct spiritual techniques of moral self-examination, Passion meditation, and negative theology into one cognitively adept path towards mystical union. She is also the first English-language scholar to treat the author of this influential work – the Renaissance physician Bernardino de Laredo, a pivotal figure in the transition from medieval to early modern spirituality on the Iberian peninsula and a source for Teresa of Avila’s mystical language.
‘The Mystical Science of Soul is a fascinating piece of research. It focuses on a mystical method of recollection and the genre of literature associated with it…this volume should be welcomed by medievalists and early modernists, students of the Renaissance, historians of science, mysticism, and medicine, as well as theologians and church historians.’ Jon Balserak, Sixteenth Century Journal vol 65:02:2014