The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism
This clear and comprehensive anthology, culled from the vast corpus of Christian mystical literature by the renowned theologian and historian Bernard McGinn, presents nearly one hundred selections, from the writings of Origen of Alexandria in the third century to the work of twentieth-century mystics such as Thomas Merton.
Uniquely organized by subject rather than by author, The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism explores how human life is transformed through the search for direct contact with God. Part one examines the preparation for encountering God through biblical interpretation and prayer; the second part focuses on the mystics’ actual encounters with God; and part three addresses the implications of the mystical life, showing how mystics have been received over time, and how they practice their faith through private contemplation and public actions.
In addition to his illuminating Introduction, Bernard McGinn provides accessible headnotes for each section, as well as numerous biographical sketches and a selected bibliography.
“No one is better equipped than Bernard McGinn to provide a thorough and balanced guide to this vast literature….This is an anthology which deserves to be read not only by those who study Christian history and theology, but by believers who long to deepen their own lives of prayer and service.” — Anglican Theological Review
“Bernard McGinn, a preeminent historian and interpreter of the Christian mystical tradition, has edited this fine collection of mystical writings, organizing them thematically….McGinn offers helpful introductions to each thematic section, author and entry, as well as a brief critical bibliography on mysticism. Published in the Modern Library Classic series, this is a great value.” – Christian Century