Claims not only to experience God’s presence but also some kind of union with God occur throughout the texts of early Christianity; they are arguably found in Augustine and also in Clement (d. c. 215), Origen (c. 185–254), Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–94), in the texts attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500), and in a host of martyrological, hagiographical, and monastic texts. In the medieval west, the influence of Augustine and Dionysius looms largest, and both suggest – without clearly asserting – that union involves a dissolution of the self before and in God. Yet the mainstream of the Augustinian tradition, represented by the work of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) and his fellow Cistercians, as well as that of the twelfth-century Victorines and much thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Franciscan mystical writing, insists on a union of wills in which the soul maintains its identity as other than God even as it feels as if that distinction is lost.