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From human desire to divine desire in John of the Cross

  • EDWARD HOWELLS (a1)

Abstract

John of the Cross presents a spiritual journey of desire in which desire changes from a painful yearning for an infinite other, always out of reach (human desire), to the satisfaction of desire in mutual love and rest (the goal of union with God, conforming human to divine desire). John asserts a continuity of desire between these two states, and that it is possible for human desire to grow from one into the other. Yet they are very different. John's treatment of desire and how he asserts this continuity are assessed through a critical reading of his Spiritual Canticle.

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References

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AloysiusMark, SJ Mark, SJ (2017) ‘Does desire divide or unify the self in the journey of mystical transformation in the Spiritual Canticle of John of the Cross?’ (Heythrop College, University of London MTh Dissertation).
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Hole, Samuel (2016) ‘Desire, transformation and selfhood in John of the Cross’ (University of Cambridge PhD Dissertation).
Howells, Edward (2002) John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila: Mystical Knowing and Selfhood (New York: Crossroad Publishing).
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Williams, Rowan (2002), ‘The deflections of desire: negative theology’, in Davies, Oliver & Turner, Denys (eds) Silence and the Word: Negative Theology and Incarnation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 115135.

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