Contemplation begins with Wonder.
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Latest Articles

Reclaiming the Bible as a Mystical Masterpiece

Part of the process of reclaiming mystical Christianity in our day will be the equally important task of reclaiming a mystical understanding of the Bible.

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Union, Intimacy, and Love: the Dynamics of Christian Mysticism

The best way to understand Christian mysticism (if “understanding” is even a possibility, given the mysterious nature of mysticism) is to approach it as a process: a developmental journey of how one relates to God.

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Experience

Anyone interested in mysticism may sooner or later face questions like this: what does it mean to have an experience of God? What is the nature of such experience?

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sunrise, sky, blue

Twelve Ways to Approach Christian Mystical Spirituality

I cannot nail down a Christian understanding of mysticism in a single session of a class (or in a simple blog post), but hopefully I can offer some lines of thinking that can help readers and students to think about Christian mysticism in a manner that is consistent with how mysticism has been understood by Christian theologians, contemplatives and visionaries.

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Silence

Spiritual silence is not about the kind of silence that harms relationships or inhibits communication. Rather, the silence of spirituality is the silence of listening, pondering, meditating, contemplating. It can only be freely chosen; never imposed.

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What do Christian Mystics Believe?

Anyone interested in the beliefs of Christian mystics will naturally be curious to know, “do Christian mystics believe the same things as other Christians?” It’s an almost impossible question to answer…

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Jason M. Baxter: An Introduction to Christian Mysticism

An Introduction to Christian Mysticism approaches the topic from an academic perspective. Baxter begins by suggesting that the mystics of Christian history — figures like John Ruusbroec, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, and Gregory of Nyssa — offer a healthy corrective, perhaps even an antidote, to the domesticated, “nice” spirituality that has come to characterize so much of mainstream Christianity in our time.

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Does Talking About a Mystical Experience Make it Stronger?

If you share with others a moment of profound mystical insight that you have does it, in fact, make it stronger and real for the person with the epiphany? In other words, in the retelling does it gain strength?

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Verbum / Logos

Most people think of contemplation and mysticism in terms of prayer and meditation — and rightly so. But there is still an impressive body of wisdom literature to explore — what Thomas Cranmer said about the Bible applies also to mystical literature: these are teachings to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.” You can take your study of the mystics so much further if you tap into a program as powerful as Verbum or Logos.

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Latest Blog Posts

Do You Follow Me On Instagram (Or Should I Say, “Bookstagram”)?

Friends, I’ve had an Instagram account for maybe seven years now, but it’s always been the poor stepchild of my social media accounts. All the action seemed to take place …

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Faith, Science, PBS — and Trappist Monks

I’m so happy to share this segment from a recent episode of the PBS News Hour with you. It features the monks of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit — the …

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Hunting Magic Eels: the Quest for a Re-Enchanted Christianity

Richard Beck, professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University in Texas, has just released a book that will certainly be a finalist for “most whimsical title.” Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an …

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Online Course: Wisdom of the Desert (September 27-October 22, 2021)

Explore the wisdom, wit, and spiritual insight of the Desert Mothers and Fathers in this four-week online course, sponsored by Columbia Theological Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. The course counts …

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More Advance Praise for Eternal Heart

Last month I published the first words of endorsement that my forthcoming book, Eternal Heart, received — from Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Adam Bucko, Colette Lafia, Br. Paul Quenon and Christiana Peterson. …

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Online Day of Reflection for Patrons: Transfiguration (August 7, 2021)

Four times a year I offer an online Quiet Day/Day of Reflection for the generous patrons who support the Anamchara website/blog/knowledge base through Patreon. The next such quiet day will …

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A Meditation on the Spirituality of Healing (A Patreon Sneak Peek)

A note from Carl: Friends, I am currently writing a manuscript that I am calling Meditations on the Christian Mysteries. I’ve identified fifty-two key themes, wisdom teachings, and mystical principles …

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Why Do So Many Christians (and Christian Churches) Reject Esotericism and Occultism?

The following question arrived in my email inbox the other day… Why is there such a condemnation in the Christian churches for esotericism/occultism? I have my entire adult life ( …

Why Do So Many Christians (and Christian Churches) Reject Esotericism and Occultism? Read More »

Some Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Over the past few months I have had the good fortune to be the guest on a few podcasts. Perhaps you might enjoy listening to them. If so, check the …

Some Podcasts You Might Enjoy Read More »

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