Hello, and welcome to this website on radical mysticism in the central Middle Ages. It is based on my doctoral thesis, which I have been updating and adding to, since it was accepted by the Oxford theology faculty in 1976. As it is now as ready as it is ever likely to be, I have put it online. If you find anything of particular interest or would like to take issue with any statement in it, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
Please note that at the beginning of 2012, all the information to be found at this website, with some additional work, has been published as a book entitled Mysticism and Heresy: studies in radical religion in the Central Middle Ages (c.850-1210) by Angus J. Braid: ISBN 9781780185101. Available from Amazon UK here and other international Amazon sites.
Using the website:
To find out more about what is known of the master of theology, Amaury de Beynes, after whom they were named; to study the Amalricians’ ideas; or to find out what happened to them: please see the section entitled THE AMALRICIAN HERESY.
The Amalricians may have been part of an Avicennist philosophical and religious trend, which was becoming popular among the well-educated at the end of the 12th century. This was not just a variation upon Neoplatonist philosophy; it was also linked to a mystical tradition. I have spent countless fascinating hours trying to track this particular tradition of philosophy and mysticism from Islam to late 12th-century Latin Europe. This can be studied in the section entitled THE LADDER OF ASCENSION.
The more obvious Latin sources for their heresy can be found in the section entitled POSSIBLE SOURCES. All of these studies, plus some extra ones in the section on OTHER STUDIES, will, I hope, introduce people to radical religious figures of some interest, who stand out sharply against their medieval background.
Help can always be accessed via the INTRODUCTION : how to use the notes and the extensive bibliography is dealt with in part 2 (on method), and an introduction to the necessary theological terms can be found in part 4 (on religion).