After introductory lectures on the general literary scene of the late Medieval period in England, the lectures and seminars will be devoted to a critical examination and appreciation of the following works: • Richard Rolle, The Fire of Love • Julian of Norwich, The Revelations of Divine Love • Walter Hilton, The Ladder of Perfection • The Cloud of Unknowing and • The Book of Margery Kempe

Unit code: DS9141C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Spirituality

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Relate the significant aspects of each of these texts studied during the semester


Situate each in its historic context in 14th Century England


Interpret the central contribution/s of any one text to its 14th century reader


Examine the evolving attitude towards any one text by subsequent generations of readers


Demonstrate ways in which the text might be read by a contemporary reader


Assess and describe ways in which the text could be of practical value today


Research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner

Unit sequence

30 points at level one Spirituality or the equivalent


Some lectures with the bulk of the time devoted to discussion of texts, their meaning, significance and how they might speak to the contemporary reader.

Indicative Bibliography

 **Students should have available each of the following (generally available on Library Loan)
  • Hilton, Walter. The Scale of Perfection. Translated by John P. H. Clark and Rosemary Dorward. Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist, 1991. (recommended for purchase)
  • Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Love. Translated by Elizabeth Spearing. London: Penguin, 1999. (recommended for purchase)
  • Richard Rolle of Hampolle. The Fire of Love and the Mending of Life. Translated by Richard Misyn. Cosimo Classics. New York: Cosimo, 2007. (recommended for purchase)
  • Spearing, Anthony C., trans. The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works. London: Penguin, 2001. (recommended for purchase)
  • Walsh, James A., trans. and ed. “The Pursuit of Wisdom” and other works by the author of “The Cloud of Unknowing”. Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist, 1988. (recommended for purchase)
  • Windeatt, Barry A., trans. The Book of Margery Kempe. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1985. (recommended for purchase)
  • Davis, Carmel B. Mysticism and Space: Space and Spatiality in the Works of Richard Rolle, the Cloud of Unknowing Author, and Julian of Norwich. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2008.
  • Fryknholm, Amy. Julian of Norwich a Contemplative Biography. Brewster, Mass: Paraclete Press, 2010.
  • Goodman, Anthony. Margery Kempe and Her World. London: Longmans, 2002.
  • Jantzen, Grace. Julian of Norwich. London: SPCK, 2011.
  • Kennedy, David G. Incarnation and Hilton’s Spirituality. Salzburg: OLW, 1988.
  • Mursell, Gordon. English Spirituality. 2 vols. London: SPCK, 2001.
  • Nuth, Joan M. God’s Lovers in an Age of Anxiety: The Medieval English Mystics. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2001.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

Weekly seminar notes (the equivalent of 1,500 words for the semester)

1500 20.0

5,500 word essay

5500 80.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 20 Jul, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000