A fascinating collaboration between a medieval historian and a professor of psychiatry, this enthralling book applies modern biological and psychological research findings to the lives of medieval mystics and ascetics. Drawing upon a database of over 1,400 medieval holy persons and in-depth studies of individual saints, this illuminating study examines the relationship between medieval mystical experiences, the religious practices of mortification; laceration of the flesh, sleep deprivation and extreme starvation, and how these actions

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