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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the place of erotic and nuptial image within Christian mystical texts. It outlines a shift in later mystical texts in which human corporeality, especially in terms of sensation and emotion, is embraced as part of what it means to love God. It is noted that this development is accompanied by an increasingly Christological focus. It is argued that there is much that contemporary theology could learn for mystical accounts of love, not least the idea that the female body can be both pure and sexually responsive at the same time.

Keywords: erotic desire, union, sexuality, women, mystical marriage, Margery Kempe, Origen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Rupert of Deutz, Hadewijch

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