Hilton, Walter (d. 1396)
Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Copyright © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization
How to Cite
Condict, E. 2011. Hilton, Walter (d. 1396). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .
- Published Online: 25 NOV 2011
Walter Hilton was a late 14th century Augustinian canon who settled in his later years at the Priory of Thurgarton in Nottingham, England. Little is known of the life of Hilton, but it seems he was first a layman, trained as a canon lawyer, then a solitary recluse before joining the religious community under ecclesiastical rule. The obscurity of Hilton's personal life is a reflection of the major themes of his work; his humility and gentle self-effacement are products of the maturing of faith he calls his readers to, a process of recognizing the truth of the soul's condition and replacing its innate self-centeredness with an interior resting in the truth of Christ. Conveying his personal spiritual experience is not Hilton's intent. He goes so far as to assert that he did not practice the art of contemplation himself, though his writing makes evident that he had experience with the deep spiritual joy he describes.
- late 14th century augustinian canon;
- the scale (or ladder) of perfection, devotional classic;
- the “mixed” life, desiring and contemplating jesus