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Walter Hilton

d.1396. English mystic. Although long considered a Carthusian, he was an Augustinian canon of the priory of Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire. Events of his earlier career and dates of his writings are still uncertain. De Imagine Peccati and Epistola Aurea he wrote as a solitary during a period between university career and his religious association. The Scale of Perfection is his most famous work, originally written for the guidance of a religious friend, an anchoress. In two parts or books, the second is addressed to no one and is more advanced. The first book has been reckoned austere and theocentric, the second of warmer christocentric piety. He distinguishes between the life of “faith” (active, ascetic) and “feeling” (contemplative, mystical), and makes wide use of Augustine, Gregory, Bonaventura, the Victorines, Rolle, and The Cloud of Unknowing.

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