In the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries, the Carthusians filled the role played in the tenth and eleventh centuries by the Cluniac network in the twelfth century by the Cistercians, and in the thirteenth century by the Franciscans and Dominicans:Western Christendom's most outstanding professional intercessors before God's throne. Founded in the late eleventh century, a few years before the Cistercians, the Carthusians grew very slowly during their first two centuries but were highly respected from the beginning. The two authors whose writings make up this volume are situated at the end of the thirteenth century, just before the order's flourishing growth of the fourteenth century. The mysterious author known as "Hugh of Balma" may have influenced the fourteenth century Cloud of Unknowing and certainly had a great impact on Catholic spirituality in the sixteenth and following cneturies, especially, but not exclusively, in Spain, Guigo de Ponte's writings by indirect route, influenced Ignatius of Loyola.
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