The Mystics of Engelthal

Writings from a Medieval Monastery
Hindsley, Leonard P.
Date published: 
January 1999

Engelthal was the name of a community near Nuremburg and the location of a fourteenth-century monastery. The nuns and chaplains who lived at the Monastery of Engelthal were responsible for a remarkable collection of autobiographical and biographical texts during the 1300s. The Mystics of Engelthal is the first English-language book to unveil these writings and to examine the meanings contained within them. Leonard Hindsley shows us how the production of medieval German original texts from one place remains unparalleled in the literary history of the Middle Ages. The works analyzed include autobiographies of two mystics, Adelheid Langmann and Christina Ebner, as well as biographies of three nuns and one chaplain, and one devotional text, the Prayer of Adelheid Langmann. In this volume Hindsley inspects each text and then studies them as a corpus to determine what may be said of the spirituality that inspired the authors and subjects and helped to produce such an outpouring of mystical literature. The Mystics of Engelthal is a stirring and often fascinating look at a body of work previously overlooked by Medieval scholars.