Chapter

Introduction

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780823220748
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236824 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823220748.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter provides a background to the works of the anonymous English author of The Cloud of Unknowing. This man belongs to a mystical trend known as “apophatic” because of its tendency to emphasize that God is best known by negation. The Cloud of Unknowing is a book of considerable literary beauty written with simplicity of style that does not conceal the wealth of theological learning beneath the surface. This book studies the mystical doctrine of the author of The Cloud against its background of medieval theology and in light of Christian tradition, giving special attention to the relationship between the Englishman's mysticism and Christianity as lived by the simplest person who believes.

Keywords: Christianity; mysticism; The Cloud of Unknowing; Zen; medieval theology; negation

Chapter.  5086 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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