Exercising Imagination: The <i>Meditationes vitae Christi</i> and <i>Stimulus amoris</i>

Michelle Karnes

in Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780226425313
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226425337 | DOI:
Exercising Imagination: The Meditationes vitae Christi and Stimulus amoris

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This chapter describes the post-Bonaventuran meditations, especially the Meditationes vitae Christi and the Stimulus amoris. It argues that they make imagination into a trainable tool with the fact that such meditations build upon the power of imagination that Bonaventure had given them. As the meditations' readers and hearers deliberately attach themselves to Christ through meditation, they become capable of sharing, eventually, his journey to heaven, finding in such meditation a path toward salvation. Suffering with Christ through meditation on his life and passion, the meditant could satisfy her obligation to travel to heavenly glory through the cross. Properly used, then, imagination promised substantial spiritual rewards, and for that reason it merited careful cultivation. Thus, these meditations view imagination as a faculty to be trained, one whose value was well-attested and whose power needed to be harnessed.

Keywords: post-Bonaventuran meditations; Meditationes vitae Christi; Stimulus amoris; Christ; heaven; meditant; salvation

Chapter.  17564 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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