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  • To Our Readers
  • Christine Cooper-Rompato and Bob Hasenfratz

It is with great pleasure that we present the premier issue of the Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures (JMRC), a continuation of Mystics Quarterly (MQ), which was founded as the 14th-Century English Mystics Newsletter by Valerie Lagorio and Ritamary Bradley in 1974. It was renamed Mystics Quarterly in 1984 and published subsequently under the editorships of Valerie Lagorio, Ritamary Bradley, Elizabeth Psakis Armstrong, and Alexandra Barratt. Bob Hasenfratz became editor in 2005 and was joined by Christine Cooper-Rompato in 2009.

The process of relaunching MQ as JMRC, though it took far longer than we anticipated, has been an exciting and complex one. We were determined not to alienate any of MQ 's loyal readers who have written to us expressing their affection for the journal. After MQ moved from New Zealand to the United States in 2005, we realized that it might be a bit disingenuous to maintain the title Mystics Quarterly when we were producing only two issues a year, and the fact that the word medieval did not appear in our old title brought us some lively, but inappropriate, material over the years. In many ways, MQ has been a microbrew journal: specialized, with a relatively small, though devoted, readership. In reimagining the journal, one of our aims was to broaden its scope and readership and to take the promise of interdisciplinarity seriously. Our decision to relaunch the journal was influenced in large part by the fact that a number of scholars have approached us with fascinating essays on various aspects of medieval religious culture that go beyond mystical traditions, narrowly conceived. The new title reflects the broader interests of both editors, and we believe strongly in honoring the plural s in Cultures. We find ourselves in a moment of transition, however. Though we wish to attract submissions on a much wider range of topics than MQ encouraged, including medieval Islamic and Judaic traditions, our first issue retains a focus on medieval English religious texts that we very much would like to broaden in the future.

Our thanks go to the members of our editorial board, who went above and beyond the call of duty in giving us detailed and excellent advice about the relaunch and evaluating submissions for us. We could not have done it without them. We also wish to thank warmly the staff of the Pennsylvania State University Press for their unflagging support and encouragement. [Begin Page v]

Though you may write to us via the journal's address (, you are also welcome to contact us at our individual university e-mail addresses: and, respectively. For the journal's website, see We are excited about the new direction of the journal and look forward to hearing your comments. [Begin Page vi]

Christine Cooper-Rompato
Utah State University
Bob Hasenfratz
University of Connecticut


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pp. v-vi
Launched on MUSE
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