Volume 4 Issue 1 Spring 2018

2 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 4 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 Hadewych of Brabant: The Most Perfect Life One Can Attain on Earth Received March 31, 2018 Revised April 13, 2018 Accepted April 16, 2018 The Brabant Mystic Hadewych, which lived possibly around 1240 in Antwerp, Belgium, is the author of the oldest mystical lyric in vernacular in Western Christian tradition. While the Hadewych research previously did mainly concentrate on philological and literary aspects of her writings, in my dissertation I intended to investigate some theological implications of this research in regard to fundamental concepts of the Hadewych’s theology (Arts- Honselaar 2006). This article provides a brief presentation of my thesis along with the analysis of the Letter XVII, which contains Hadewych’s mystical perception of the Trinity, and also marks a radical change in her religious awareness when describing how she came to the understanding that the “ most perfect life we can attain on Earth ” ( volmaectste leuen dat men hebben mach op ertike ) consists not only in “serving”, as she thought before, but in the synergy of “serving” and “resting”. Like the “Deity” ( godheit ) that is at the same time “pouring out” ( ute gheue ) and “giving back” ( op houde ), a human is called to keep rest in the action and to be available for action while keeping rest. Key words Hadewych, Minne (love), medieval women’s mysticism, Trinity, Unity Hanneke Arts-Honselaar