Groote, Gerard

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Groote, Gerard or Geert

(gā`rärt, gārt`, grō`tə), 1340–84, Dutch Roman Catholic reformer. He studied at Paris and elsewhere and because of his learning in theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, and medicine, he was appointed professor at Cologne. Converted from a worldly life c.1374, he retired to a Carthusian monastery near Arnhem, urged probably by John RuysbroeckRuysbroeck, John,
Dutch Jan van Ruusbroec , 1293–1381, Roman Catholic mystic, b. Brabant (now in Belgium and the Netherlands). He was an Augustinian canon. In middle age he retired to a hermitage at Groenendael (near Brussels), where he was prior of a small
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. He was ordained deacon, but never priest, and under episcopal auspices he preached all over the Netherlands, denouncing clergy and laity impartially and making many converts. In 1383 his clerical enemies procured an episcopal ban on his preaching. In his preaching period he formed the Brothers of the Common Life, a monastic organization, whose members were exponents of the "Modern Devotion." Before his death he asked his followers to become Augustinian canons. His society and the Augustinians he inspired were pioneers in a general reform of German monastic life. Some scholars hold that Groote is the author of the devotional classic The Imitation of Christ (see Imitation of Christ, TheImitation of Christ, The,
Christian devotional book, of great popularity. It originated among the Brothers of the Common Life in the Netherlands and was written probably c.1425. Tradition (since c.
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), ascribed by tradition to Thomas à KempisThomas à Kempis
, b. 1379 or 1380, d. 1471, German monk, traditional author of The Imitation of Christ, b. Kempen, Germany. He was schooled at Deventer, in the Netherlands, the center of the Brothers of the Common Life founded by Gerard Groote.
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. The Following of Christ (tr. 1941) is purportedly based on the original Groote manuscripts in diary form.
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Next follows "Secret Rooms: Private Spaces for Private Prayer in Late-Medieval Burgundy and the Netherlands" by Ezekiel Lotz, who considers the Carthusian "theology of the cell" as applied to the personal life of Geert Groote and Philip the Bold and his family (Philip's daughter-in-law was Margaret of York).
-- Geert Groote (1340-84) Dutch founder of the "Modern Devotion"