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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Mystical writers of Lives and Visions employ distinct, explicit strategies to evoke mystical experience in their audiences. Beyond claims of historical meaning and truths, the texts focus on the process of knowing and encounter with the divine. After tracing biblical and early historical resources, three case studies on Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Annie Dillard elucidate mystical writing techniques of visionary exegesis, narrative protagonist flexibility, and creative generative prose. This chapter interrogates how form works in authorizing claims, theological anthropology, and understanding of divine essence and encounter in the world. Embedded here is also an invitation to contemporary practitioners to carry on this artful work of mystical theology.

Keywords: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Annie Dillard, Hildegard of Bingen, vision, life, exegesis, truth, rhetoric

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