Category

Mysticism

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Explore the Mystical Life — with a Christian Mysticism “Unknowledge Base”!

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Friends, I’m excited to announce a major new initiative on this website. Coming on February 1, 2021, I’m launching a Christian Mysticism (Un)Knowledge Base. (Update: it’s been launched! Visit the Unknowledge Base by clicking here) What’s that? You might be wondering. Think of it as a help desk for exploring the world of Christian mystical spirituality. If you develop...

A Mystical Catechism

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One of my dreams is to create a Christian Mysticism Knowledge Base (or, perhaps better described as a Christian Mysticism Un-knowledge Base!). I wrote the following questions a while back thinking that they would go into the FAQ page of a Mysticism Knowledge Base. And maybe they will. But for now, I’m publishing them here. What is Christian Mysticism? Christian mysticism, an aspect of...

Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism

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Here is the third episode of my “Schola Mystica” podcast. The transcript of the episode appears below. Mysticism is a notoriously difficult word to define — which means it is a tricky concept to understand.  The word gets used in slightly — or significantly — different ways, in different contexts. If we speak of Christian mysticism, or Eastern mysticism, or Neo-Platonic mysticism, we...

Video: Mysticism and the Bible — Three Contemplative Verses

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“Is mysticism in the Bible?” It’s a question I get asked from time to time. And while the word mysticism itself is not found in scripture, the elements of mysticism are very much part of the Biblical story. In the first of what I imagine will be multiple videos on this topic, I begin to explore mysticism in the Bible by focusing on three verses that speak of silence — in a...

Contemplative Wisdom from Evelyn Underhill, Martin Laird and Julian of Norwich

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Contemplative Outreach Atlanta has just finished their first online 5-Day Retreat. Historically this retreat took place each year at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit; I’ve been a participant on the retreat, and it’s been a wonderful experience. This year, with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retreat was moved to a Zoom format. The organizer of the retreat, Maggie...

A Dream and a Book (How I Learned About Christian Mysticism)

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For episode 2 of my new podcast, Schola Mystica, I tell a brief story about how I first learned about Christian mysticism, beginning with a dream I had shortly after graduating from high school; a conversation with a trusted friend to try to make sense of that dream, and a book that friend recommended to me: Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness...

Wisdom During Difficult Times from Evelyn Underhill and Julian of Norwich

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Today I led a day of reflection for the Mary Brewster Committee of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgfield, CT. This committee is tasked with creating a retreat each year for the purpose of supporting women’s spirituality in their community. When they approached me about the retreat we decided on the theme “Wisdom During Difficult Times” to acknowledge what a...

Two New Podcasts, One Existing Podcast, and a Youtube Channel for You to Explore

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Dear friends, I’m excited to announce that I have launched two new podcasts. Each one will be oriented toward exploring mystical spirituality — one in a more “learning about” sense, and the other in a more direct, “practice/exercise” sense. Both of these new podcasts are now available on Apple Podcasts, and will be available on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher...

Is Non-Attachment a Christian Virtue?

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Recently I received a note from a long-time reader of this blog who was questioning me on something I have previously written, basically this: Why Experience is Not the Foundation of (All) Spirituality. In several blog posts over the years, I have offered an admittedly contrarian view to the common idea that mysticism and spirituality are all about “experiencing God.” I question the...

Julian of Norwich, Universal Salvation, and “All Shall Be Well”

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A long-time reader of this blog emailed me recently with the following question about Julian of Norwich: Lately I’ve been re-reading the Showings of Julian of Norwich and am struck by the number of times Julian implies that all will be saved.  While one can infer from her revelations that she is indeed a universalist, she never comes right out and says so.  I’m interested in hearing...

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