Evelyn Underhill (Scholar Spotlight)

Biography Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was one of the most influential twentieth-century writers on mysticism and spirituality. Her work is largely credited with bringing mysticism to the masses, with enormously influential publications such as Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness (1911) reprinted numerous times to keep up with demand. Her belief that mysticism was a spiritual path that should be open to all is best seen in…

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IMEMS Fellowship: Exploring the manuscripts of the English Poor Clares

In 2007 Durham University Library was gifted the lion’s share of the library of the English Poor Clares. Consisting of 796 printed works and 74 manuscripts, the extensive collection contains what remains of the libraries of the four major English Poor Clare convents of the early seventeenth century: Gravelines, Dunkirk, Aire and Rouen. After returning to England during the French Revolution, the nuns settled at Haggerston Castle in Northumberland, then Scorton Hall in Yorkshire, and…

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Conference Report: Early Modern Orders and Disorders, 28th June- 30th June 2017

Last month I was lucky enough to present a paper at ‘Early Modern Orders and Disorders: Religious Orders and British and Irish Catholicism’. The conference was held at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway, a beautiful building right in the heart of London and moments away from Trafalgar Square. The event was well attended, with scholars from across the globe coming together to discuss the current state of Catholic studies and enjoy papers…

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IMEMS Fellowship: Mysticism among the English Poor Clares

I am delighted to be joining Durham University as an IMEMS Library Fellow in April and May. During my time there I will be researching a project entitled ‘Mysticism among the English Poor Clares, 1580-1680’. The project will engage with the remains of the library of English Poor Clares, first donated to Durham in 2007.  It will explore the devotional and mystical works preserved in the collection, focusing especially on print and manuscript material from…

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Book Review: Jane Lead and her Transnational Legacy

Jane Lead and the Philadelphian Society are not particularly well known figures to most scholars of late 17th- and early 18th-century religion. Born in 1624, Lead experienced a spiritual awakening aged 16. On Christmas Day 1640, while her family danced and celebrated, she was overwhelmed with a ‘beam of Godly light’ and a gentle inner voice offering spiritual guidance. After the death of her husband in 1670 she received daily spiritual outpourings, finding comfort in…

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