Four questions about Mysticism

A reader named Matt wrote the following questions to me, quite some time ago (sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, Matt!): The Reformed, and Protestant traditions have been quite suspicious of some of the practices of "Mysticism", why is that, and what would be a response to Protestant concerns? What is the theology behind Christian Mysticism? Does Christian Mysticism have Biblical Support? How does one go about practicing the more Mystical aspects of the Christian faith? Any … [Read more...]

A Chat with a Methodist Minister

The other day at the Abbey Store I struck up a conversation with a Methodist minister who was making a short retreat at the Monastery. We chatted up books and authors and it became apparent that we had a similar interest in contemplative spirituality. "So tell me," I asked him, "What is it like to advocate for contemplative spirituality in your congregation?" He smiled ruefully. "It's not easy," he said. "Are people afraid of it?" I wondered, mindful of the small but vocal presence of … [Read more...]

The Jewel and the Setting

In response to my post yesterday of Annemarie S. Kidder writing on the relationship between postmodernity and the rediscovery of mysticism, one commenter writes: Her insights resonate with me, both in words and practice. What I wonder though, is what kind of church this individual movement will form. How will the creeds be written or will creeds be simply experienced in similar ways? How will be able to share with the youth from our own inward experiences? I understand where we are, but I feel … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

People in the postmodern era have lost confidence in the idea of perpetual progress advanced by the sciences and technology. They have become distrustful of and disenchanted with authority, which includes that of the church. They value experience over against outside authority, a faith based on experience over against one that is ecclesiastically pre-formulated, and a plurality of voices that are of equal value over against a singular voice that makes all final decisions. Authenticity, being … [Read more...]

Forthcoming Books from Liturgical Press

Recently I received an email announcing new titles from Liturgical Press, one of the leading publishers on Benedictine, monastic, and general Christian spirituality. I'm taking the liberty of posting the contents of that email here on my blog, because pretty much every title listed looks wonderful to me — and, I suppose, will interest anyone visiting this blog as well. Michael Casey on the prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict, anyone? Joan Chittister exploring the radical nature of the … [Read more...]

Images from the Wild Goose Festival

I'm home from the Wild Goose Festival. What an amazing experience it was! Hopefully I'll find the time sometime soon to write about the experience. But in the meantime, here are a few photos to give you a glimpse of the experience. The first two photos I took using my iPhone; the other two are courtesy of conference attendee Christine M. Anderson. … [Read more...]

Mark Your Calendars…

These dates are subject to change, but will probably stay as they are. If you'd like to participate in a retreat that I will be leading or co-leading at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA, in 2012, here are the dates to hold: June 15 - 17, 2012: The Spirituality of George MacDonald and C. S. Lewis July 13 - 15, 2012: Spiritual Writing and Journal Keeping August 10 - 12, 2012: Of Gods and Men: Cistercian Spirituality and Interfaith Relationships September 14 - 16, 2012: Spirituality … [Read more...]


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