The Discernment of Spirits 978-3-16-151664-1 - Mohr Siebeck

Wendy Love Anderson

The Discernment of Spirits

Assessing Visions and Visionaries in the Late Middle Ages

[Die Unterscheidung der Geister. Die Einschätzung der Visionen und der Visionäre im Spätmittelalter.]

99,00 €
including VAT
ISBN 978-3-16-151664-1
Published in English.
Wendy Love Anderson describes late medieval Christian efforts to invent a system for distinguishing between true and false visions and prophecies, along with the political, spiritual, and sometimes personal implications for the visionaries and reformers who helped to create that system.
Late medieval Christians lived in a world of visions, but they knew that not all visions came from God: angels, demons, illness, nature, or passion could also inspire an apparent divine visitation. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the involvement of visionaries in everything from reform movements to military campaigns to papal schisms raised the political and spiritual stakes of determining whether or not a vision was truly from God. In response, a diverse group of medieval thinkers – including men and women, clergy and laity, visionaries and theologians – gradually began to transform the loose patristic readings of Pauline discretio spirituum into a system with the potential to distinguish between true and false visions and between genuine and delusional visionaries. Wendy Love Anderson chronicles the historical, political, and spiritual struggles behind the flowering of late medieval mysticism and what came to be seen as the Christian doctrine of discernment of spirits.

Wendy Love Anderson Born 1975; 1999 M.A. in Religious Studies, University of Chicago, 2001 PhD in History of Christianity, University of Chicago; presently Academic Coordinator and Lecturer in the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis.


The following reviews are known:

In: Zeitschr. f. Kirchengeschichte — 124 (2014), S. 111–113 (Peter Dinzelbacher)
In: Historische Zeitschrift — 298 (2014), S. 776–778 (Simone Kügeler)
In: Journal of Ecclesiastical History — 64 (2013), S. 157–158 (Barbara Newman)
In: Reformatorisch Dagblad — 26. Mai 2012, S. 9 (Herman J. Selderhuis)
In: Archiv f. ReformationsG -Literaturbericht- — 42 (2013), 19 (Ocker)
In: Medioevo Latino — 35 (2014), S. 943