In Mystical Theology and Contemporary Spiritual Practice several leading scholars explore key themes within the Christian mystical tradition, contemporary and historical. The overall aim of the book is to demonstrate the relevance of mystical theology to contemporary spiritual practice. Attention is given to the works of Baron von Hugel, Vladimir Lossky, Margery Kempe, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Thomas Merton, and Francisco de Osuna, as well as to a wide range of spiritual practices, including pilgrimage, spiritual direction, contemplative prayer and the quotidian spirituality of the New Monasticism. Christian mystical theology is shown to be a living tradition, which has vibrant and creative new expressions in contemporary spiritual practice. It is argued that mystical theology affirms something both ordinary and extraordinary which is fundamental to the Christian experience of prayer.
'Mystical theology has experienced a marked revival in recent decades, not least because, as the authors of Mystical Theology and Contemporary Spiritual Practice put it, mystical theology "seeks to engage and illuminate theology in such a way as to rescue it from only being a rational and intellectual exercise". Many of the important links between spiritual practice and mystical theology are incisively explored in the essays in this volume. The collection reminds us that fostering connections between theory and practice, especially the practice of prayer, is necessary for true cultivation of the spirit in our fractured world.'
Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago, USA
"This illuminating and darkening collection of essays explores the deep yet relatively unfathomed ground between mystical theology and contemplative practice. … This valuable, heartfelt, and deeply enlightening book belongs equally to the future of mystical theology and practice."
Simon D. Podmore, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Peter Tyler, Julienne McLean and Christopher C.H. Cook
1 Baron Friedrich von Hügel on the Mystical Element of Religion: Has the Baron a Message for us Today?
2 What Did Vladimir Lossky mean by ‘Mystical Theology’?
3 The Mystical Theology of Margery Kempe: Writing the Inner Life
4 Unlikely Mystics: Durham Cathedral as mystical space for ordinary people
5 The Renewal of Contemplative Traditions: New Monasticism and Quotidian Practices
6 Wittgenstein Reads Merton: The Mystical Theology of Two Twentieth Century Masters
7 Mystical Theology and the Renewal of Contemplative Spiritual Practice
Julienne McLean and Christopher C.H. Cook
Christopher C.H. Cook, Julienne McLean and Peter Tyler
This series facilitates new points of synergy and fresh theological engagements with Christian mystical traditions. Reflecting the plurality of theological approaches to Christian mystical theology, books in the series cover historical, literary, practical, and systematic perspectives as well as philosophical, psychological, and phenomenological methods.
Although the primary focus of the series is the Christian tradition, exploration of texts from other traditions also highlight the theological, psychological and philosophical questions that Christian mysticism brings to the fore.