Hadewijch and Her Sisters

Other Ways of Loving and Knowing

By John Giles Milhaven

Subjects: Esotericism And Gnosticism
Series: SUNY series, The Body in Culture, History, and Religion
Paperback : 9780791415429, 171 pages, August 1993
Hardcover : 9780791415412, 171 pages, August 1993

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Table of contents



Part I. Hadewijch and the Mutuality of Love

Part II. Medieval Women and Bodily Knowing

Appendix. Thomas Aquinas on the Pleasure of Sex and the Pleasure of Touch





Hadewijch, a thirteenth-century woman, describes her relationship with God as a mutual loving in which God and she affect each other personally and profoundly. This book presents in detail the account by Hadewijch of this supreme and most satisfying experience.

Presented here are phenomenologically specific traits of the bodily knowing that Hadewijch and other women of her time and place prized in their devotion to Christ and his saints. The opposition to the traditional Western ideal and norm is evident. In prizing embodied mutuality, Hadewijch has learned from Bernard of Clairvaux, but sees much more.

John Giles Milhaven is Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Good Anger.


"This is a fine example of thick scholarship made accessible and challenging. It is an exciting book that not only incorporates strong scholarship but presents it with clarity. "—Clare B. Fischer