Christian mysticism

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Two New Reference Books For You (or Your Library)

by Carl McColman

Mysticism — whether Christian mysticism, or comparative (world) mysticism — is a vast subject, one to which you could easily devote your life without any fear of ever mastering (or exhausting) the literature associated with it. Recently two books have crossed my desk that should prove to be invaluable for anyone seeking to study mysticism […]

Three Myths of Mysticism?

by Carl McColman

Last night I joined the good folks at Countryside Church in Omaha, NE for their weekly webcast, Darkwood Brew. Needless to say, our topic was Christian mysticism. The host, Dr. Eric Elnes, invited me to comment on what he described as three “myths” related to Christian mysticism — three common misconceptions that many Christians might […]

The Rare Handful? (Jean Leclercq’s Definition of Mystical Experience)

by Carl McColman

In the Classics of Western Spirituality edition of the Selected Works of Bernard of Clairvaux, Benedictine scholar Jean Leclercq, OSB offers the follow definition of “mystical experience”: …those rare occasions when a handful of Christians may enjoy sublime states of prayer and union with God. What do you think? I have problems with the idea […]

Praying with St. John of the Cross

by Carl McColman

A friend of mine suggested I read Wayne Simsic’s Seeking the Beloved: A Prayer Journey with St. John of the Cross, offering the book pretty high praise: “I never ‘got’ John of the Cross until I read this book,” she said. That alone made me think it was worth checking out. And I would agree […]

Introduction to Christian Mysticism through Evening at Emory

by Carl McColman

I’ll be teaching Introduction to Christian Mysticism through Emory University’s Continuing Education Program. Classes meet on Monday evenings from November 5 through December 3. I hope I’ll see you there… and please tell your friends, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.! Thank you. To register: Course Description: The renowned twentieth century German theologian Karl Rahner said, “The […]

Insight from a Deep Well

by Carl McColman

Mystical spirituality is concerned with one basic question: how can we truly know God? One way of knowing involves learning information about God; it is doctrinal. Another way of knowing leads to union with God; it is mystical. Mystical writing often seems impenetrable and incomprehensible, eluding precise definition, as if it were an unknown and […]