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ERKLAERUNG DES VATERUNSERS. A CRITICAL EDITION OF A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY MYSTICAL TREATISE BY MAGDALENA BEUTLER OF FREIBURG (GERMANY)

KAREN GREENSPAN, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

The Erklaerung des Vaterunsers is a 337 page meditation and commentary on the Lord's Prayer composed by the fifteenth century German mystic, Magdalena Beutler of Freiburg. This study comprises biographical and critical essays concerning Magdalena and her works, together with a critical edition of the Erklaerung with textual apparatus. Its purpose is to reintroduce Magdalena and her hitherto inaccessible devotional works into late medieval religious and literary scholarship.^ Previous studies of Magdalena have dismissed her as a deluded, self-dramatizing hysteric and failed to mention either the Erklaerung or her most popular work, the Goldene Litanei, a meditation on the Passion that was widely anthologized from her own time through the early seventeenth century. This dissertation attempts to show that, despite the occasional criticism of contemporaries, Magdalena's actions lay well within a tradition of Franciscan mysticism which centered on the imitation of the life of Christ; that the special emphases of her devotion were characteristic of a strain of female piety that had begun to be voiced as early as the twelfth century; and that her peculiarly literal and physical approach to the imitatio Christi was at the same time orthodox and innovative; and that the Erklaerung represents Magdalena's efforts to share her practices and concerns with her community.^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, Medieval|Biography|Religion, History of

Recommended Citation

KAREN GREENSPAN, "ERKLAERUNG DES VATERUNSERS. A CRITICAL EDITION OF A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY MYSTICAL TREATISE BY MAGDALENA BEUTLER OF FREIBURG (GERMANY)" (January 1, 1984). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI8410292.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8410292

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