Talk:John of Ruusbroec

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This article should be filed in Wikipedia under the main heading of "Jan van Ruysbroeck", NOT "John of Ruysbroeck". There is no entry in Wikipedia for "Lewis from Beethoven", but instead the artist's real name of "Ludwig van Beethoven" is used. So why is "Jan van Ruysbroeck" being anglicised? This is offensive to the history and culture of Flanders. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

birth year[edit]

The Catholic Encyclopedia article and some other sources give his year of birth as 1293; the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge gives it as 1294. I changed the opening summary to say born "1293 or 1294".

The section on his works probably needs editing for NPOV. --Jim Henry 19:36, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The calculation is a back-counting from Pomerius: if he was 11 when he joined St Gudula in 1305, he must have been born in 1293 or 1294. More than that is not known, as the Ruisbroec genealogy stops with the death of his putative grandfather in 1267. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

place of death[edit]

Place of death is best described by the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. It says he died at an "Augustinian monastary of Groenendael (2 m. s.e. of Brussels)." If some sources say Groenendael and others say Brussels, they are probably both right by now. Groenendael was the monastary and I assume Brussels has grown up around it (or its former location) by now. In fact, Ruysbroe(c)k (4 m. s.e. of Brussels according to the resource above), where he was born may be part of Brussels now too??? Can anybody familiar with the area give a definitive answer?

I live in Watermael, on the line of a legendary tunnel connecting the Priory (not monastery - there's a difference) of Groenendaal (preferred Flemish spelling, the -ael is the normal French transliteration, which falls between the two linguistic stools as the little-used French equivalent is, properly speaking, Val-Vert) and the centre of town - there's certainly something under my garden which fits the legend. Groenendaal is in the Green Belt surrounding Brussels, about 15 kilometers/10 miles to the south-east of the Cathedral of St Gudula, and the site of the Priory straddles the boundary between the Brussels Capital and Flemish regions. Another point is that Groenendael belonged to the Victorine Order, not the Augustinian. On the other hand, Ruisbroek (modern spelling) is, indeed, now just on the south-western edge, some 10 kilometers/6 miles from St Gudula. There is some evidence that the Ruusbroek family were closely related to a leading family of Brussels aldermen (although that's not saying much, given that Brussels was barely 8000 souls in 1300!). Jel 15:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
== Additional details of his relics ==
According to a Brussels historian, Jacques van Wijnendael (Promenades dans les Couvents et Abbayes de Bruxelles, Editions Racine, 2007, ISBN 978-2-87386-495-8), his relics were transferred in 1457 by Isabelle of Portugal, the wife of Phillip the Good, from Groenendaal to the Convent of the White Ladies of the Rose of Jericho in Brussels, as part of a merger between the Order of the White Ladies, a magdalen house of ill repute loosely associated with St Victor, and the female Priory of the Hermit at Ter Kluysen (= the Hermitage) near the Priory of the Seven Springs, closely associated with Jan's original biographer Henricus Pomerius, which had been burned to the ground after having been hit by lightning. The house was placed under the Rule of Windesheim (ie the descent of Jan's Groenendael Priory), but the loose practices seem to have continued. His relics were then transferred to St Gudula in 1783 when the religious orders in Belgium were greatly thinned out, and as stated, probably destroyed in 1792-3. Jel 15:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


I tried to merge the two articles: John of Ruysbroeck and Jan van Ruysbroek (scholar). If others find it adequate, please make the "Jan" article a redirect. Liblamb 18:32, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Jan & the Brethren[edit]

Its interesting that Jan preached against the Free Spirit Heresy as in essence much of what he is described as saying here is similar to their message. I suppose the key difference was, of course, that Jan believed the intimate relationship with God spoken of by the Free Spirits could be achieved through the established structure of the Church while the Free Spirits did not. ThePeg 15:25, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

You should be particularly interested in this article, as it suggests that Pomerius' identification of Jan's target with Bloemardine was mis-targetted, that he was actually getting the first shots in against Margaret Porete herself. The framework was Pope John XXII's 1295 Decretal Periculoso, constraining female religious orders to enclosed houses.Jel 16:34, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Jan's philosophy, according to Prof Thom Mertens of the Ruusbroecgenootschap of Antwerp University, was slightly more complicated than the God-Man-God outline here: in Section 2.4 of his notes to the 2006 Lannoo edition (ISBN 90-209-6786-X) of The Spiritual Tabernacle, he draws out Ruusbroek's explication of why he deviates from the Exodus description as a prefiguration of human spiritual development, in his Vitorine Realist thinking establishing the Christian virtues (the roof of the Tabernacle) as the keystone of their supports (its walls), which only become evident later, based on the general Victorine thinking of exegesis in the metaphore of a building, a literal foundation (in this instance, the reality of Moses' Tabernacle) supporting walls of typological meaning (figurative of the New Testament correspondance with the Old Testament Covenant) capped by an anagogical roof (a predestinative syllogism in the fulfilment of the three Covenants of Noah, Moses and the Pentecost in the Apocalypse), the whole being coloured by the moral interpretation. It is here that Jan establishes his key importance in the doctrines of Christian triumphalism, restoring Jesus' claims to spiritual leadership in a symbolism which will not long thereafter be adopted by Pope Eugene IV in his victory over the Papal Council as giving him ultimate authority. Now, how do we say this which does not tread on somebody's NPOV, given that this is the root of one of the greatest-ever bigotries on record?Jel 16:33, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Do we really know nothing about his ancestry?[edit]

His mother installed herself at very short notice in a béguinage near the cathedral. There was only one such, the Hospice Terarken, which depended on the Clutinck family, the leading Brussels Aldermen - the others were quite a distance away. This hospice was established in 1226 by Reynaldus Clutinck, for 12 poor women, and survived until 1792 or thereabouts. It is eminently likely that it inspired his 12 Béguines work, and also the Tabernaculum. We know independantly that the Clutinck family had good relations with the Lords of Ruysbroek, their neighbours, witnessing several deeds for them: Groenedael was also Clutinck land. The van Coudenberg family were almost certainly a cadet branch of the Clutincks, who owned the entire Coudenberg! Furthermore, it would have been extremely unlikely for a serf to have been able to run away like that: this is why the Duke authorised the monastery so easily, they were Nobility, not serfs. But of all dates to set up a cloister, just as the Black Death arrives must have been one of the roughest...

Antwerp University has recently set up an entire School with a Professor and around a dozen specialist Doctors and researchers specialising in his works and times, and it is entirely possible some very controversial - but justified - aspects of his work will start appearing on the Dutch Wiki site: readers should check there frequently. Jelmain 15:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Heilwige Bloemardinne[edit]

I'm trying to get an article started on Heilwige Bloemardinne and have run into a problem that people who pass this way may be able to solve. In the section of Oliver Davies' book The Rhineland Mystics which deals with Ruysbroeck he says, "She was certainly known to Ruysbroeck for he quotes her in The Twelve Beguines." This seems unlikely and perhaps the author has another of Ruysbroeck's writings in mind? Can any one suggest which one? It seems plausible that Ruysbroeck would use her actual words to epitomise the views he wished to expose as false and it would be nice to think one could get some small window on what Heilwige actually said or wrote.Coxparra (talk) 12:08, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

In his early days, they were at daggers drawn, with him publishing some highly castegatory comments about her. His mother probably stayed in the Clutinckx' hospitium not far from the St Gudula cathedral, which actually housed 12 poor women as a semi-informal béguinage, so there could have been contact and animosity at that level. It is thought that Bloemardine was born in Brussels, moving on to other things when Ruusbroec made things too hot for her. Why not contact the Ruusbroec fellowship at Antwerp Uni directly and ask them?
Equally, reread that poem with care (I've not studied Bloemardine, so I don't know enough to recognise a sarky quote): the broader theme of it is the development of the experienced believer, starting from what modern evangelists consider toddler steps, then getting a bit too cocky, and eventually settling to a degree of maturity. There are times in life when the well goes a bit dry, and he focuses on a couple of such "Screwtape" moments, so perhaps he was quoting from Bloemardine to show how she was going astray. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for those two ideas. I will try them both and, if I have some success, I'll post the results back here. Coxparra (talk) 19:10, 3 February 2010 (UTC)