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Florence Nightingale on Mysticism and Eastern Religions


"Mysticism and Eastern Religions," the fourth volume in the "Collected Works" and the third on Nightingale's religion, begins with the publication for the first time of Florence Nightingale's "Notes on Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages," translations from and comments on the medieval (and some later) mystics who nourished her own life of faith. Next come her annotations of and comments on the "Imitation of Christ," a book to which she turned in times of distress. The largest part of the volume consists of her "Letters from Egypt," written 1849-50, a significant period in her own intellectual and spiritual development. Here we provide (for the first time) complete publication and include (also for the first time) material preparatory for the trip and reflections on it over the later years. The last section reports Nightingale's correspondence and journal notes on Eastern religions, mainly Hinduism.

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About the Author

Now retired, Gerard Vallee was a professor of religion at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Born in Quebec where he first completed his BA, then an MA in French literature, he received a D.Th. in Ecumenical Theology from the University of Munster, Germany. After teaching in Vietnam, he accepted a position in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University in 1972. He retired in 1993 and then taught briefly in Nigeria and India. He now lives in Hamilton.


[I]t is clear that this is an academic project of the highest importance and integrity. It will have an impact on the work of scholars far beyond the immediate field of health history. Nightingale's interests were wide-ranging and her correspondence included some of the leading thinkers of her day....The editing of these volumes is exemplary. Every reference has been followed up, including the identification of minor dramatis personae. Important personalities are accorded short biographies. On every page there are biblical allusions, which are faithfully identified. Each thematic section has an introductory essay and these are amplified by a full outline of Nightingale's life and thought in volume 1. This project makes a major contribution to scholarship which will be of permanent value.''--Helen Mathers, University of Sheffield

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