The Spirituality of Howard Thurman

Check out the following video... it features a friend of mine (Lerita Coleman Brown) and author Kirk Byron Jones discussing the spirituality of the great American mystic Howard Thurman, his influence on Martin Luther King, Jr., and how a balanced spirituality of contemplation and action was so inspirational for the American Civil Rights movement. Well worth watching.SDI Learns from Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD and the Rev. Kirk Byron Jones, PhD … [Read more...]

Two More Wonderful Videos: Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

The treasures from Shalem, in honor of its 40th anniversary, just keep coming! Last week I posted a wonderful video featuring Shalem's founder, Tilden Edwards, in conversation with a former Shalem director Carole Crumley and the Franciscan contemplative Richard Rohr. That video looked at how our  understanding of contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Here are two more videos, apparently from the same conversation. The first explores the question "What drew you to the … [Read more...]

A Modest Proposal (and a question for folks who live near Decatur, Georgia)

If you have known me for a while, you know that for almost two years I was involved in a "Christian Mysticism Meetup" group that met every Wednesday night at a church in the Atlanta suburbs. At first we had lots of energy: 20 - 25 people attending each night; but eventually the group withered down to maybe 5 people or so showing up at a time. As I began to have conflicts on the night when the group met (Wednesdays) I let the group go, and that was the end of it. But I told the last few loyal … [Read more...]

How the Understanding of Christian Contemplation has Changed: Carole Crumley interviews Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

Here is a must-watch video — Carole Crumley of the Shalem Institute interviews two of the "elder statesmen" of the contemporary contemplative movement: Tilden Edwards (the founder of Shalem) and Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. The video was produced as part of the Shalem's observance of its 40th anniversary, and the topic these three consider is how the understanding of Christian contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Enjoy... … [Read more...]

The Evelyn Underhill Rosary

I've just finished reading The Letters of Evelyn Underhill (which were published in 1943 and edited by Charles Williams). It's such a wonderful book; I think anyone who is a spiritual director (or who sees a spiritual director), spiritual companion, or soul friend, would find much to treasure in this collection. Although the collection includes its share of love letters to her husband, "wish you were here" descriptions of her many holidays in Europe, and fan mail to authors she admired (such as … [Read more...]

Three Video Clips: Speaking of Mysticism in Portland, OR

Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. They were filmed and produced by Cathy Zheutlin of Holy Rascals — a media company that produces videos and webinars for the spiritually adventurous. In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word "mysticism"...So in this next video, I offer less of a "definition" of … [Read more...]

Benedictine Spirituality and the Community of Hope

On April 20 I had the privilege of speaking to the Southeast Regional Conference of the Community of Hope International, an ecumenical organization of Christians whose mission is "to create and sustain Christian communities of volunteer lay pastoral caregivers around the world." Their mission statement goes on to say, "We are united in prayer, shaped by Benedictine spirituality and equipped for and serving in pastoral care ministries." I was invited to speak on the Benedictine tradition and how … [Read more...]


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