Dorland, Peter (Dorlandus)

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Carthusian spiritual writer; b. 1454, Walcourt, Belgium; d. at the Zeelhem charterhouse near Diest (Brabant), Aug. 25, 1507. Nothing is known of his life except that he studied at Louvain University, entered the Carthusians at Zeelhem c. 1475, lived piously and humbly, and endured a long illness with great patience. Some 60 of his works in Latin are known, and of these seven have been published. The Carthusian Petreius edited (Cologne 1608) the first seven books of his Chronicon Cartusiense, which Dorland himself called Corona Cartusiana; it is a somewhat uncritical collection of pious stories. His hagiographical works are mostly sermons. His ascetical writings are partly monastic (on Carthusian observances), partly devotional (hymns, prayers, reflections on the rosary, the Passion, etc.), and partly on the spiritual life. His Viola animae, a dialogue between the Blessed Virgin and "Dominicus" (servant of the Lord), is notable for its literary excellence and, in spite of some dependence upon Ludolph of Saxony's Vita Christi, for its originality. In it Dorland made much of the idea, prominent in modern Mariology, that Mary at the foot of the Cross was the type and representative of the Church. Translations of the Viola have been published down to our own day. There is some evidence for crediting Dorland with the authorship of the famous allegorical play Elckerlyc (Everyman in English; Jedermann in German).

Bibliography: s. autore, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 4.2:178285. l. moereels, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932) 3:164651.

[b. du moustier]