A contemplative community? the cloud texts and scale 2 in dialogue

Taylor, Cheryl (2002) A contemplative community? the cloud texts and scale 2 in dialogue. Parergon: Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 19 (2). pp. 81-100.

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Abstract

A devotional milieu shared by WaIter Hilton and the anonymous author of The Cloud oJUnlcnowing was the probable basis of intertextua1 exchanges which took place in the early 1390s in major works by each writer. The article consid"" how this dialogue contributes to the climactic rendition of Hilton's spiritual attainment in Scale 2. Early cbapt"" are uninfluenced by the Cloud texts and dominated by an authoritarian polemic. but from Chapter 21, Scale 2 weaves a sequential commentary on The Cloud into the unfolding of its teaching. In a convergence which challenges strict scholarly definitions of Hilton as cataphatic and the Cloudauthor as apophatic, Scale 2 deals expansively with the author's paradoxical metaphor of darkness. Chapters 30-7 deploy a benevolent pastoral rhetoric to explicate or amend instructions given in related chapters of The Cloud. Scale 2 proceeds to insist like The Cloud on the deceptiveness of language, as it seeks to merge the multiplicity of words and concepts into the unity of fulfilled contemplation. The article concludes by suggesting that the reinterpretations in Scale 2 may have functioned ideologically to neutralise the potentially disruptive genius of The Cloud within official Church discourses.

Item ID: 13659
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: English literature; literature of spirituality
ISSN: 1832-8334
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 03:12
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200503 British and Irish Literature @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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