Article

Spiritual Quest and Social Space

Mary Baine Campbell

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199229123.013.0036

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Spiritual Quest and Social Space

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This article provides a very selective survey of spiritual travel in its major prose forms in medieval English literature, focusing on pilgrimage. It discusses mystic and poetic texts that engage the form of the quest in romance, allegory, and the vidas and confessions of mystics. It suggests that during this period the ecclesiastical and theological disapproval of the literalism of religious travel was raised to a level of ecstatic rejection of the body's adventures by mystical aspiration to a purely spiritual consciousness.

Keywords: spiritual travel; English literature; pilgrimage; mystic texts; poetic texts; romance; allegory; vidas; mystics; religious travel

Article.  9064 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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