This unit explores developments in mystical piety in the Middle Ages. The unit will pay particular attention to the Rhineland Mystics. It will also consider the religious response to urbanization as expressed by the Beguine Movement and the emergence of mendicant friars. The development of particularly feminine responses of women to mysticism and relationship of women mystics to the wider church will also be examined. A seminar based unit, it emphasises the reading of texts and the interpretative process involved in a receptive and critical reading of Medieval sources. It also explores some contemporary approaches to the interpretation of Medieval women’s spiritual experience in a social and cultural context. Students will be required to read and to analyse primary sources from medieval writers including: Hildegard of Bingen; Mechtilde of Magdeburg; Margueritte de Porette, Gertrude the Great, Meister Eckhardt, Francis and Clare, Bonaventure, Catherine of Siena, Angela of Foligno.

Unit Code: CH2121C

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit Discipline: Church History

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Identify significant spiritual movements in the Middle Ages


Elaborate a range of spiritual styles and responses in their cultural and historical context


Analyse the relationship of women mystics to their culture and the Church


Evaluate the role of mysticism as a means of renewal for the Church.

Unit sequence

CH1001C and CH1002C or equivalent


Lectures and seminars


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

1,000 word seminar paper

0 20.0
Seminar or Tutorial

1,000 word seminar paper

0 20.0

2,500 word essay

0 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-18 13:09:18 +1100