At the end of October an edited English translation of Herman Westerink’s book Verlangen & Vertwijfeling was published. The title: A Modernity, Melancholy and Predestination. Cultural Historical, Philosophical and Psychoanalytical Perspectives on the Modern Religious Subject. It appears in the Series Studies in Spirituality by Peeters Publishers/Titus Brandsma Institute.
Early modernity is characterized by intensified and in-depth Christianization processes and the development of various models for religious subjectivity. Experiences of anxiety, despair and abandonment often play a central role in the religious literature and practices, notably in a protestant context in which there are intense debates on the place and value of such experiences in religious life. What is the relation between faith and despair? Can one distinguish spiritual despair from melancholia? What is the role played by the doctrine of predestination in faith practices that include despair and desire?
This book explores such questions through a reading of a variety of sources with the use of philosophical and psychoanalytical theories and perspectives: the life of Francis Spira, Luther, Calvin, Willem Teellinck, Gisbertus Voetius and Jean de Labadie.
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