Divine Union is Embodied: Notes on the Incarnational Nature of Christian Mysticism


I’ve been working my way through Mystical Theology and Contemporary Spiritual Practice: Renewing the Contemplative Tradition, a book in Routledge’s “Contemporary Theological Explorations in Mysticism” series. There’s a delightful essay in it called “Unlikely Mystics” about the sense of wonder and numinous reality that people encounter when visiting...

Is Non-Attachment a Christian Virtue?


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...

Five Ways to Think About Mysticism


Mysticism is a notoriously squirrelly word to try to define. In The Big Book of Christian Mysticism I devote an entire chapter to defining mysticism, and even then I admit that defining this word is like trying to put love into a bottle. Not long after the book was published in 2010, I was asked to lead a Friday/Saturday retreat at a Disciples of Christ Church near where I live. The topic for our...

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