Margaret Ebner, Major Works

Margaret Ebner, Major Works

Margaret Ebner, Major Works

Margaret Ebner, Major Works


A comprehensive introduction that evaluates the author and her times, written by Hindsley and Margot Schmidt, precedes this extensive anthology of Ebner's works, including Die Offenbarungen, or Revelations, her spiritual autobiography, and the Pater Noster, her personal prayer.


Various works of great names among the German mystics, such as Meister Eckhart, John Tauler, and Henry Suso, have appeared in the Classics of Western Spirituality Series. These Dominicans were remembered, if not always appreciated, throughout history because of their great influence on many later figures. The mystic Dominican nuns, such as Christina Ebner and Adelheid Langmann, were less well remembered, in part because they generally recorded their experiences using the medium of their own Middle High German dialects. Within one hundred years these vernacular texts began to be difficult to understand for the ordinary reader. For a long time these works remained obscure, hidden like the lives of these nuns. Margaret Ebner's major works, presented in this volume, have never before been translated into English. It is hoped that this translation will make Margaret Ebner more widely known in the English-speaking world, thus giving her the praise that is her due among mystics of the fourteenth century.

I would like to thank Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P., who first encouraged me to pursue a study of Margaret Ebner while on a brief walk at River Forest.

Thanks must also be given to Fr. Gabriel O'Donnell, O.P., for his care and advice as director of my S.T.L. thesis on the spirituality of Margaret Ebner. Thanks also to Fr. Boniface Ramsey, O.P., for his time in reading through portions of the translation at that stage.

It is difficult to express adequately my debt of thanks to the Franciscan Sisters of Maria Medingen, especially to Sr. Kolonata, Sr. Ingeborg, Sr. Dagmar, and Sr. Clarice, who were so kind and generous to me during my research time in the archives of Maria Medingen.

Thanks also to Professor Charles Duffy and to Sr. Mary of the Assumption of the Monastery of the Mother of God in West Springfield, who kindly read the manuscript at various stages and made useful suggestions. Special thanks go to Fr. Nicholas Ingham, O.P., for his thoughtful corrections and suggestions in the final stages of work, and also to Bernard McGinn, the editor of this series, for his invaluable assistance.

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