Ruysbroeck, John

Ruysbroeck, John,

Dutch Jan van Ruusbroec (yän vän rois`bro͞ok), 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 community. His sanctity and good counsel attracted visitors from afar, and Johannes TaulerTauler, Johannes
, c.1300–1361, German mystic. He was a Dominican. He met Meister Eckhart, either at Strasbourg or in Cologne, where he went to study, and he was one of Eckhart's disciples. He also knew Heinrich Suso.
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 and Gerard GrooteGroote, Gerard or Geert
, 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
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 were among his followers. His influence on Groote was so great that John is regarded as a forerunner of the Brothers of the Common Life. His mystical treatises are classics of Middle Dutch literature and of Christian mysticism. There are English translations of The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love (1944) and The Spiritual Espousals (1953). His cult is widespread among Roman Catholics of N Europe. He was beatified in 1908.

Bibliography

See S. Axters, Spirituality of the Old Low Countries (1954); P. Mommaers, The Land Within (tr. N. D. Smith, 1976).

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