Jean Gerson: Early Works

Jean Gerson: Early Works

Jean Gerson: Early Works

Jean Gerson: Early Works

Synopsis

Here are selected seminal writings of Jean Gerson (1363-1429), chancellor of the University of Paris, academic, humanist, Christian teacher and reformer, and one of the greatest theologians and mystical writers of the middle ages.

Excerpt

Jean Gerson has been almost a daily companion for me in the last five or six years. I discovered him long ago in the somber pages of Johan Huizinga's The Waning of the Middle Ages, but I would contend today that Huizinga does not do justice to the nuances of Gerson's thought and its message of Christian hope. I hope that this volume will make Gerson's writings better known, for as I will show in the introduction to this volume, Gerson is a theologian and spiritual writer who is eminently worth knowing. Until now, however, he has been reserved for specialists. A few days ago I tried to find works on Gerson at one of the best religious bookstores in Paris. Perhaps because of my accent, or perhaps because of the obscurity of the author, a kind clerk led me to books by Georges Sand. When I spelled out the name I wanted, the computer revealed that nothing at all was available.

In translating Gerson I have turned time and again to the expertise of the dean of Gerson studies, Gilbert Ouy, emeritus directeur de recherches at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Years ago Gilbert Ouy responded warmly to a query about Gerson, and he has been totally unselfish in sharing his knowledge and insights. Recently he carefully reviewed my version of The Mountain of Contemplation. It has been a privilege to work with him, and I am grateful to Gilbert Ouy for his attention and the warm hospitality he and his wife and the members of his former équipe have shown me.

In Copenhagen I have received assistance with the French letters of Gerson from my colleague Jonna Kjær at the Institute for Romance Studies. My former colleagues at the Institute for Greek and Latin in Copenhagen, Christian Troelsgaard, Sten . . .

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