Jan 'Pilgrim' Pullen (1520-1608) on the 'Supra-essential' Life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Jan Pullen (c. 1520-1608) was a prolific and very interesting late Middle Dutch mystical author, almost unknown to scholarship. Only eight of his treatises have been published, but he wrote many more. Seventy titles have been attributed to him, even though only forty have been identified. He probably came into contact with the Middle Dutch mystical tradition in the period that he was a student in Cologne, namely via the Carthusians and the group around Nicolas Eschius. In this contribution, first a short overview is presented of the content of the eight treatises that have been published until now, and then one central topic is discussed that is present in all these works, namely the ‘supraessential’ life. This topic is developed by Pullen completely in line with Ruusbroec’s theology. The historical development of this term shows that in Pullen’s time, after the censure of Henry Herp’s Mirror of Perfection, it was usually avoided. However, Pullen maintains the term, in its original meaning, including the harmonious combination of total surrender to God and human activity. In the appendix of this contribution, an overview is given of all Pullen’s works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-124
JournalStudies in Spirituality
Volume31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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