Earlier versions of this article were presented at The International Medieval Congress in Leeds in 2007 and at the 43rd International Congress for Medieval Studies in 2008. In this article, I demonstrate how Mechtild of Hackeborn's (1240-98/99) Liber specialis gratiae (The Book of Special Grace) is pedagogically arranged as an introduction to and a reflection on the grand questions of theology, closely connected to the life of the cloister in God's service in general and its theological education specifically. Theology is for Mechtild not an abstract speaking about God but rather an ongoing dialogue with God. The conversations most often are shaped as a diatribe with the revealed God in the form of the incarnated Christ, and at the same time they are images of the communication between God and humans as well as between the divine three persons, who again constitute how humans should communicate humanely. Thus, Mechtild's theology is a "discours" tabled in a rich imagery taken from everyday life, so much so that the trinitarian God for example is depicted as a cook working in a public kitchen, generously pouring his gracious food from an abundantly replenished pot to all, slaves and free (Gal 3:28).
Magistra, 2008, Issue 2, p. 34-55
mechtild af hackeborn; kommunikation; teologi som samtale med Gud; den treenige Gud som kok, køkken og gryde; communication; theology as dialogue with God; Triune God as cook, kitchen and pot