Soul Food: Nourishing Essays on Contemplative Living and Leadership (Pre-Order Today)


Friends, I am so honored to announce that I have an essay appearing in an upcoming anthology called Soul Food: Nourishing Essays on Contemplative Living and Leadership which is being published to celebrate 50 years of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction — the organization that first introduced me to silent prayer and spiritual direction when I was a grad student forty years ago. Soul...

Coming in August 2023: the NEW Big Book of Christian Mysticism (Pre-Order Your Copy Today)


Friends, I am thrilled to announce that on August 29, 2023, the new edition of my book on Christian mysticism will be published! The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism is a revised and expanded 2nd edition of the book first published in 2010. I know sometimes when publishers bring out “revised” editions of books, the changes are minimal. That’s not the case with this book — it...

Books To Read and Savor During Advent and Christmas


A reader of this blog wrote to me last week and asked: I am writing to ask if you have any good recommendations for spiritual reading during Advent. There are some wonderful books to explore for Advent. Some are new, some are classics, some are specifically “Advent-y” and others are simply books I’d like to recommend. So, here goes! We’ll start with the Advent themed books...

Twelve Mystical Anthologies That Belong in Every Contemplative Library


There are literally hundreds of mystics in the Christian tradition alone — or, should I say, hundreds of mystics who were writers (no one knows how many great mystics were too humble to write about their union with God, and so their wisdom is lost to history). And while some mystics like Julian of Norwich only wrote a small amount, others like Thomas Merton or Teresa of Ávila left us enough...

25 Celtic Books (and a CD) for Your Late Summer Reading List


Hello friends! I currently have a course on Celtic spirituality running through Spirituality and Practice (it’s not too late to sign up for it, if you’re interested, click here). We had a zoom call the other day which gave me a chance to interact with participants in the course, and of course during our time together several books were mentioned; people asked to recommend a few books...

“Do I stay Christian?” A Conversation with Brian D. McLaren on a Significant Question for Our Time


Last Wednesday I had the distinct honor of being part of a group interview with leading Christian theologian Brian D. McLaren. The occasion was in celebration of Brian’s latest book, Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned. It’s a provocative title and, indeed, a provocative book. Brian is aiming to have a balanced but honest engagement...

Read a Book About Silence (and support “Encountering Silence”)


Friends, many of you know the podcast I co-host, Encountering Silence (and if you don’t know it, check it out!). The following list of books represents some of my co-hosts’ and my favorite books on the topic of silence. We offer it here for your browsing and reading pleasure. The titles are linked to the books’ pages on Amazon — please note that if you follow one of these links...

Mystical Minute II: The Book that Changed my Life


Here’s the second release in my new series of “Mystical Minute” videos. The topic of this one: “the book that changed my life.” This is a brief introduction to Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill. After acknowledging that my first copy of the book (given to me by a friend when I was 18) has a hideously ugly cover, I briefly explain why this book matters to me — and why it...

What I look for when I read contemplative books


I often get asked to recommend “the best” contemplative books. I’m happy to do so (see this post for a recent attempt to list some of the better books), but today I thought I’d do something a bit different. Instead of just rolling off a list of my personal favorites, I’ll share with you how I decide which books I consider to be truly worth reading, savoring, and...

So Many Books, So Little Time…


Lately I’ve been posting on social media a “book of the day.” It’s a combination of new books that I find interesting (which I may or may not have read), along with an assortment of books in my library ranging from antiquarian treasures to more recently published titles. Here’s a recent example: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Carl McColman ♾♥️...

A “Top Ten” List of Christian Contemplative Books


A reader writes, Wondering if you have an updated list of top ten books about Christian contemplation? Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a fondness for publishing lists of books I love and like to recommend. For example, two years ago I published a list of Twelve Contemplative Books for Christian Transformation. I can’t recall that I’ve ever published a “Top Ten”...



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