John Gerson and the Foundations of Mystical Theology
Keywords:Gerson, mysticism, Pseudo-Dionysius, spiritual theology, synderesis
Among other contributions, Jean Gerson (1363-1429) has played a decisive role in establishing spiritual theology as an experimental science, the foundation and process of which are independent from the ones of dogmatic theology, even if their results need to eventually coincide. Based, as all works in the field, on Pseudo-Dionysius, Gerson’s De theologia mystica (written between 1402 and 1423) developed an epistemology of mystical knowledge, itself grounded upon an anthropology describing how humankind’s cognitive and affective powers operate together. Gerson’s work played a major role in the development of French, and more largely, modern approach to mysticism.