My friends, I’m happy to announce my forthcoming book, due in October 2016.
Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages is a companion volume to The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. I originally envisioned including a section in that book that would serve as a sort of who’s who of mysticism, with entries for all the major figures that gave biographical informa-tion, key teachings or ideas, and a representative quote or two. For a variety of reasons, that never came to pass, and so The Big Book of Christian Mysticism only included a list of significant mystics and contemplatives of the Christian tradition. Here at last is my who’s who. I’ve written this not as a scholar or an academic, but as a spiritual practitioner—which means this is not meant to be an encyclopedia of facts and figures, but really an invitation for you to discover the riches of mystical wisdom in order to cultivate your own marvelous and wonderful relationship with God. I hope and trust that you will enjoy it.
Here’s the sales copy, written by yours truly and the marketing team at my publisher (which is why it’s written in the third person):
Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages celebrates the many types of mystics, visionaries, wisdom keepers, and non-dualists whose spiritual insight and perceptive teachings have illuminated the Christian tradition for the past two thousand years. Looking at 108 mystics from Biblical times to the present day, this user-friendly guide shows how the spiritual masters of the western tradition provide a variety of paths into the transforming heart of God.
Everyone needs teachers and companions to guide and nurture us in developing rich interior lives — as we seek to respond to the beatifying, deifying love of God. The mystics, whose legacy includes sublime poetry, fascinating autobiographies, and potentially life-changing teachings, can help anyone find greater love, purpose, and a deeper sense of God’s presence.
But the mystics are not a uniform bunch, which is why this book is such an essential guide to their lives, wisdom, and essential teachings. Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, organizes the mystics into nine categories: visionaries, confessors, lovers, poets, saints, heretics, wisdom keepers, soul-friends, and unitives. By profiling twelve examples of great mystics and spiritual teachers in each category, the book can help you to learn more about the mystics, and identify those whose writings will be most valuable to you as you pursue your own adventure of falling ever more deeply in love with God.
All of the most famous Christian mystics are profiled here: figures like Teresa of Ávila, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, John of the Cross, Evelyn Underhill, Thomas Merton, and anonymous masters like the authors of classics like The Cloud of Unknowing or The Way of a Pilgrim. But the book also will introduce you to many lesser known (but truly wonderful) mystical geniuses, such as Beatrice of Nazareth, Gregory of Narek, and Coventry Patmore. Likewise, a number of living (or recently living) mystics are also included, such as Howard Thurman, Sara Grant, Kenneth Leech, and Bruno Barnhart.
This informative volume will appeal to those who buy religious reference books and anyone interested in Christian mysticism or western spirituality. But it’s more than just a history book or an encyclopedia: Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages is a curated celebration of western spiritual wisdom, making it accessible for all seekers today.