‘The Gaze of Divine Sorrow: Visio and Unio Mystica’, in Louise Nelstrop and Helen Appleton (eds.), Art and Mysticism: Interfaces in the Medieval and Modern Periods (Routledge, forthcoming 2018).

Podmore, Simon D. (2018) ‘The Gaze of Divine Sorrow: Visio and Unio Mystica’, in Louise Nelstrop and Helen Appleton (eds.), Art and Mysticism: Interfaces in the Medieval and Modern Periods (Routledge, forthcoming 2018). In: Art and Mysticism: Interfaces in the Medieval and Modern Periods. Contemporary Theological Explorations in Mysticism . Routledge.

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Abstract

To what extent is the form that unio mystica assumes shaped by the form of vision (visio mystica) itself? Furthermore, might a recovery of mystical notions of vision offer an alternative hermeneutic of ‘the gaze’ to the prevailing media spectacle of human suffering, counterfeit immediacy, and false estrangement that is relentlessly exposed to our sight? In light of such concerns, this chapter offers a theological reflection on notions of ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’ by God in Christ; as well as seeing Christ in ‘the other’, and seeing ‘the other’ through the gaze of divine sorrow. Tracing ideas of visionary mystical union in Christian tradition, focus falls upon the theological role of ‘the gaze’ in the late medieval motif of ‘Christ as the Man of Sorrows’, as reinterpreted via the optical mysteries of Nicholas of Cusa (Nicholas Cusanus, 1401–1464) and Christomorphic (self-)portraits by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). Ultimately, thinking with die Deutsche Mystik tradition, particularly as crystalised in the fourteenth-century devotional text the Theologia Germanica (Theologia Deutsch), I propose a reading of unio mystica, not primarily at the level of intellectus (Intellect) or voluntas (Will), but within the reflective hermeneutic space opened by the gaze of Divine Sorrow .

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Simon Podmore
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2018 09:22
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2018 09:22
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2536

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