Show Less
Restricted access

Knowledge and Symbolization in Saint John of the Cross


Elizabeth Wilhelmsen

The works of Juan de la Cruz contains numerous passages dealing with human cognition both ordinary and mystical. This study traces San Juan's examination of the mystic's knowledge in and through God. The sixteenth-century Spanish thinker stresses that conditionality is a fundamental character of all human knowledge, and brings to light a complex movement of contiguity between one and another mode of cognitive activity. Also discussed is the expression, through the instruments of prose and poetry, of the mystic's supereminent and therefore ineffable experience of knowledge and love. Relying upon Juan de la Cruz's own texts, it is shown how a relative communication can be effected despite the barriers separating mystical from ordinary cognition.
Contents: The Speculative Tradition - The Mystical Legacy - The Twilight, or Cognition Through Creatures - The Dark Night, or the Conditioning of Cognition - The Dawn, or the Mystical Illumination - The Experience of the Mystic and the Expression of the Artist - The Search for Symbolization and the Overcoming of the Ineffable - Beauty and Truth, or the Poetry and the Prose - Metaphorical Recapitulation, or «Poesía a lo humano».