Jan van Ruysbroeck

Ruysbroeck, Jan van


(also J. van Ruusbroec). Born 1293 in Ruisbroek, near Brussels; died Dec. 2, 1381, in Groenendaal, near Waterloo. Dutch writer and theologian.

In 1354, Ruysbroeck became abbot of an Augustinian monastery in Groenendaal. His chief works were the treatises The Spiritual Espousals (1350) and The Book of Supreme Truth (1359). Marked by features of pantheism, Ruysbroeck’s teaching was directed against the clerical elite and against wealth. To a significant degree, he prepared the way for the Reformation. His treatises include descriptions of nature and everyday life and are not devoid of folk humor. Ruysbroeck’s prose exerted a noticeable influence on Maeterlinck.


Werken, parts 1–4. Antwerp, 1944–48.


Maeterlinck, M. Le Trésor des humbles. Paris, 1920.
Reypens, L. Ruusbroec. Brussels, 1926.
Medieval Netherlands Religious Literature. Leiden, 1965.
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