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Eight Chapters on Perfection and Angels' Song, Walter Hilton

Author: Walter Hilton

Translator: Rosemary Dorward

Walter Hilton was born c. 1340-5. Little is known of his life, but it is believed that he studied at Cambridge, pursued a legal and administrative career, attempted the solitary life, and finally discovered his true vocation as an Augustinian Canon Regular. His spiritual writings were in English and Latin: the best known is the ‘Scale of Perfection’. He also wrote ‘Angels’ Song’, ‘Mixed Life’, commentaries on Psalm texts, and a number of letters of spiritual guidance, and translated ‘Eight Chapters on Perfection’. He died at the Priory of St Peter at Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire in 1396.

Rosemary Dorward read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. An edition of ‘The Scale of Perfection’ which she translated and edited jointly with John P. H. Clark, has been published by Paulist Press in the series ‘Classics of Western Spirituality’.

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In ‘Eight Chapters on Perfection’ the humanity and wisdom of Walter Hilton are revealed, as he explores the possibilities of friendship and love between those drawn to prayer. In ‘Angels’ Song’ this fourteenth-century English mystic considers how in the spiritual life the action of grace can be distinguished from illusion.


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22 pages

140 x 210 mm

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