The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism

The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism This clear and comprehensive anthology culled from the vast corpus of Christian mystical literature by the renowned theologian and historian Bernard McGinn presents nearly one hundred selections fr

  • Title: The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism
  • Author: Bernard McGinn
  • ISBN: 9780812974218
  • Page: 303
  • Format: Paperback
  • This clear and comprehensive anthology, culled from the vast corpus of Christian mystical literature by the renowned theologian and historian Bernard McGinn, presents nearly one hundred selections, from the writings of Origen of Alexandria in the third century to the work of twentieth century mystics such as Thomas Merton Uniquely organized by subject rather than by authoThis clear and comprehensive anthology, culled from the vast corpus of Christian mystical literature by the renowned theologian and historian Bernard McGinn, presents nearly one hundred selections, from the writings of Origen of Alexandria in the third century to the work of twentieth century mystics such as Thomas Merton Uniquely organized by subject rather than by author, The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism explores how human life is transformed through the search for direct contact with God Part one examines the preparation for encountering God through biblical interpretation and prayer the second part focuses on the mystics actual encounters with God and part three addresses the implications of the mystical life, showing how mystics have been received over time, and how they practice their faith through private contemplation and public actions.In addition to his illuminating Introduction, Bernard McGinn provides accessible headnotes for each section, as well as numerous biographical sketches and a selected bibliography.Praise for The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism No one is better equipped than Bernard McGinn to provide a thorough and balanced guide to this vast literature.This is an anthology which deserves to be read not only by those who study Christian history and theology, but by believers who long to deepen their own lives of prayer and service Anglican Theological Review Bernard McGinn, a preeminent historian and interpreter of the Christian mystical tradition, has edited this fine collection of mystical writings, organizing them thematically.McGinn offers helpful introductions to each thematic section, author and entry, as well as a brief critical bibliography on mysticism Published in the Modern Library Classic series, this is a great value Christian Century No one is better equipped than Professor McGinn to provide a thorough and balanced guide to this vast literature A first class selection, by a first class scholar Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury This accessible anthology by the scholarly world s leading historian of the Western Christian mystical tradition easily outstrips all others in its comprehensiveness, the aptness of its selection of texts, and in the intelligent manner of its organization Denys Turner, Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor of Historical Theology, Yale Divinity School An immensely rich anthology, assembled and introduced by our foremost student of mysticism Both the scholar and the disciple will find God s plenty here Barbara Newman, Professor of English, Religion, and Classics, John Evans Professor of Latin, Northwestern University An unusually clear and insightful exposition of major texts selected by one of the greatest scholars in the field of Christian mysticism, based on his vast erudition and uniquely sensitive interpretation Like his other books, this one too is destined to become a classic Professor Moshe Idel, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

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    About "Bernard McGinn"

    1. Bernard McGinn

      Bernard McGinn, the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, is widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of mysticism in the Western Christian tradition He has also written extensively on Jewish mysticism, the history of apocalyptic thought, and medieval Christianity A cum laude graduate of St Joseph s Seminary and College in Yonkers, NY, he earned a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1963 and a Ph.D in history from Brandeis University in 1970 After teaching theology for a year at The Catholic University of America, he joined the Chicago faculty in 1969 as an instructor in theology and the history of Christianity and was appointed a full professor nine years later Dr McGinn was named to the Donnelley chair in 1992 He retired in 2003 The recent recipient of a Mellon Foundation Emeritus Grant, he also has held a Fulbright Hays Research Fellowship, an American Association of Theological Schools research award, two research fellowships for work at the Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a research fellowship at the Institute for Ecumenical and Culture Research at St John s University, and a Lily Foundation Senior Research Fellowship Dr McGinn has delivered invited lectures at some one hundred colleges and universities in North America, Europe, and Israel He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Medieval Academy of America Past president of the International Society for the Promotion of Eriugenean Studies, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association, he is member of the board of The Eckhart Society He served as editor in chief of the Paulist Press series Classics of Western Spirituality and currently serves as a member of the editorial boards of Cistercian Publications, The Encyclopedia of World Spirituality, The Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, and Spiritus The author of some 150 articles in scholarly journals, he has been the editor or co editor of ten books, including two volumes of the works of the German Dominican theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart and with John J Collins and Stephen J Stein The Continuum History of Apocalypticism 2003 The most recent of his fifteen books are the third volume of a projected five volume series on Christian mysticism in the West, The Flowering of Mysticism Men and Women in the New Mysticism, 1200 1350 1998 , The Doctors of the Church Thirty Three Men and Women who Shaped Christianity 1999 , his highly acclaimed Meister Eckhart s Mystical Thought The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing 2001 , and with his wife Patricia Ferris McGinn Early Christian Mystics The Divine Vision of the Spiritual Masters, an introductory guide to selected mystics, which was published by Crossroad in 2003 The fourth volume in series on Christian mysticism, The Harvest of Mysticism in Medieval Germany 1300 1500 , will be published by Crossroad Herder later this year.

    287 thoughts on “The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism”

    1. Christian mysticism fascinates me: how can one set in words and attempt to describe an almost indescribable experience? How is one able to truly express their ultimate union with God in language? Any attempt to me is an admirable one and here you have a good cross section of writings by well known mystics, theologians and skeptics. The effusiveness of spiritual praises and declarations can be a bit overwhelming and exhausting.

    2. My wife and I just finished a conversation wherein we both commented that we think Bernard McGinn is a phenomenal guy. Not just thinker, writer, theologian, etc. From everything we can discern from the little we’ve read from him, we just think he’s got to be a wonderful human being and a fine Christian.The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism (2006) just seems to reinforce this. His writing is clear and flows well while his inclusion of such a diversity of material demonstrates his phen [...]

    3. Overall, this book gave a decent general overview of Christian mysticism. My biggest complaint, though, was that there was too much focus on the West (and when the editor did use authors from the East, he chose pieces which are more in tune with Western Christianity than Eastern). There was also too much focus on very small heretical movements (why so many quotes from the Quietists?); their presence in the book was disproportionate to their presence in history. Not bad, but there's much better o [...]

    4. This compendium is impressive in both its depth and breadth. For example, one of its strengths is that it features not only the expected (e.g Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, etc.), but also excerpts from lesser known seers (e.g Francois Fenelon, Marguerite Porete, James of Vitry, etc.). In sum, this is a quite comprehensive survey of the major threads in Christian Mysticism in the past two millenia. Some of it is very heavy going, to be sure, but the brevity of the selectio [...]

    5. A wonderful collection of writings all through the history of Christianity. While containing many expected works, it is the deep cuts and rare gems which make this collection shine. Even if you feel your library is exhaustive, this collection is still worth a look.

    6. "No one is more shy than a contemplative His contemplation gives him new outlook on the world of men. He looks about him with a secret and tranquil surmise which he perhaps admits to no one, hoping to find in the faces of other men or to hear in their voices some sign of vocation and potentiality for the same deep happiness and wisdom." I started reading this book almost four years ago when things got a little weird for me. Reading through it, it was nice to see where I might fit in on my own sp [...]

    7. This is, hands down, the best collection of it's kind that I have ever seen. It gives the good, the bad and the ugly, and doesn't allow the modern namby-pamby view of the ancient "mystics" that is offered by most Christian/New Age authors today. McGinn gives an incredibly rounded topical (rather than chronological) organization of mystical writings throughout the centuries of the Church Age. This volume is not for the faint of heart. If you "like the mystics" in the buffet table way of wanting t [...]

    8. Picks the best sections of works from scores of theologians. Well-organized by themes. The short bibliographies are concise and do a great job of putting the texts into proper perspective so you get a sense of where each mystic got his/her ideas.Would certainly like to own a copy someday. A book I will go back to again and again, I'm sure.

    9. If I were to recommend where to start when it comes to writings of Christian Mysticism, I would say start with this book. It is the best anthology of Christian mystical writings I know. And it's presented in a clear accessible way. Highly recommended!! -Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)

    10. A wonderfully cryptic and strange cover design caught my eye instantly when I saw this book for the first time, even before I became familiar with McGinn as an author and historian. Again, another tome of interesting possibility that sits on my bedside table waiting for me.

    11. I wish there were more writings by hadewijch of antwerp in this, but it covers a lot of ground and the cover illustration ('christian allegory' by jan provost) is totally almost worth the price of the book alone.

    12. An engaging, wide ranging survey of Christian mystical thought and experience, this volume places mysticism in perspective with tradition throughout history as a controversial wellspring of spiritual understanding.

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