Christian mysticism and other mystical traditions

A reader named Guido posted the following comment on the Christian Mysticism page of this blog: Does it not occur to us that all "mysticism" is not the same? I came back today from hearing a conference on Christian/catholic mysticism. It spoke of the dark night of the soul and its place in the path of union with God. However, in making her points, the speaker used Buddist quotes. Does this not seem problematic given that the aims of Christianity and Buddhism are not the same. In the former the … [Read more...]

How Little We Know, How Much We Miss

I'm entering into 2010 reflecting on the limits of knowledge and the challenges facing anyone interested in interreligious dialogue or interfaith spirituality. If we are not humbled by how little we know, we are in trouble.Ali of Meadowsweet & Myrrh, in her latest contribution to a conversation we've been having about the movie Avatar and the representation of pagan, indigenous and/or pantheistic spirituality in that movie, has this perceptive insight: I am all for interfaith dialogue and … [Read more...]

Meg Funk

One of the most respected of contemporary Benedictine spiritual writers is Mary Margaret (Meg) Funk, OSB. Her books include Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life and Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life. She writes not only about Benedictine spirituality and contemplative practice, but also about interreligious dialogue, a pursuit she has been deeply involved in for some time now. I've just learned of her blog, which looks to contain all sorts of interesting entries. … [Read more...]

The Pope and Pseudo-Dionysius

Two weeks ago Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the ancient mystic, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, whom the pope regards as a potentially important voice in east-west dialogue. It's exciting to see a major apophatic mystic get mentioned in the press, thanks to a papal endorsement.Read an English translation of the pope's talk on Pseudo-Dionysius … [Read more...]

More Thoughts About Christianity and Paganism

Judy's comment on my post yesterday concerning Quaker Pagans got me to thinking.Paganism and Christianity make for two very interesting spiritual cultures. In some ways they are practically mirror images of one another, in other ways they are so different from each other that they are like night and day. But what night and day and mirror images have in common is that each is somehow linked to the other.I have long felt that, on at least some levels, Neopaganism represents a new religious … [Read more...]


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