A STUDY OF THE SPIRITUAL THEMES IN THE PRAYERS AND PASSION NARRATION OF LUDOLPHUS DE SAXONIA'S "VITA JESU CHRISTI" (GERMANY)

LAWRENCE F HUNDERSMARCK, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation is a study of the major spiritual themes which emerge from the prayers and Passion narration of the Vita Jesu Christi of Ludolf of Saxony. Because the Meditationes Vitae Christi was of central importance to the development of the Vita Jesu Christi, attention is focused on the Passion narrations of the two works with the goal of ascertaining, through a comparative analysis, their thematic differences. An examination of the 181 prayers of the Vita Jesu Christi uniquely reflects the religious conceptions of their author because they were originally composed, span the length of the text, and serve as summations of each chapter. A synthesis of the results of this twofold analysis yields certain conclusions regarding the essentials of Ludolf's spirituality.^ The entirety of his Vita Jesu Christi has one fundamental aim, to deepen the reader's union with Christ. For Ludolf, Christ is Emmanuel, God with us. The Passion narration, which presents a rich multidimensional Christ-image, uses imagination, emotion, the liturgical life of the Church, and the contemporary problems of the fourteenth century to teach that Christ suffers with us, now. The prayers long for the healing and elevating presence of Christ in grace. The relationship between God and man is only possible if one turns away from pride and all that is not divine. The text calls for an imitation of Christ's virtues, especially charity, humility, and patience. In its essential spiritual ideals, the Vita Jesu Christi reflects its author's Carthusian religious heritage and the values of Western Monastic thought. ^

Subject Area

Religion, History of

Recommended Citation

LAWRENCE F HUNDERSMARCK, "A STUDY OF THE SPIRITUAL THEMES IN THE PRAYERS AND PASSION NARRATION OF LUDOLPHUS DE SAXONIA'S "VITA JESU CHRISTI" (GERMANY)" (January 1, 1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8323529.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8323529

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