This essay reconsiders the place of divine revelation in late medieval and early modern England. It explores the language of ravishment and divine “raptus” as a ritualized discourse to describe divine revelation present in mystical texts, by figures like Julian of Norwich and Walter Hilton, as well as in Protestant biblical commentaries, devotionals, and poetry throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. English reformers like John Bale, knowingly or otherwise, developed a ritualized language of divine revelation that was rooted in the mystical tradition, and this discourse became the most authoritative way of describing godly religious experiences in Protestant England. The prevalence of the discourse indicates a cultural and intellectual hegemony across Catholic and Protestant texts, which has not been fully accounted for in the scholarship, that suggests an essential agreement about the ways and means that God communicated with his people.
Research Article|May 01 2018
Rapt in the Spirit: The Ritualizing of Divine Revelation in Early Modern England
Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (2018) 48 (2): 341-364.
David J. Davis; Rapt in the Spirit: The Ritualizing of Divine Revelation in Early Modern England. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 May 2018; 48 (2): 341–364. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-4402251
Download citation file: