Abstract

This article argues that Richard of St. Victor's The Four Degrees of Violent Love makes use of the literary and medical concept of lovesickness in order to create a Christian spirituality that conceives of love in new ways. This article traces Richard's translation of lovesickness from the literary and medical to the theological, in order to reveal the effects on those wounded by the love of God. By uniting violent love with lovesickness, Richard opens lovesickness to Christian meaning and interpretation, placing it at the center of an individual's journey to God, and transforms lovesickness by associating it with the wound and with violence more broadly.

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