Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Harmless on Mystics

Books & Culture, May/June

Raids on the Ineffable
A lucid account of eight mystics refutes the notion that "all religions are the same at the top."
Reviewed by Nathaniel Peters posted 06/23/08

Mystics by William Harmless, S.J.Oxford Univ. Press350 pp., $18.95, paper

But true mystics are far from amorphously spiritual. As Bernard McGinn has put it, "no mystic (at least before the present century) believed in or practiced 'mysticism.' They believed in and practiced Christianity (or Judaism, or Islam, or Hinduism), that is, religions that contained mystical elements as part of a wider historical whole." McGinn's work serves as the starting point for William Harmless, a professor of theology at Creighton University, whose new book Mystics is a walk through the lives and teachings of eight great mystics: Thomas Merton, Bernard of Clairvaux, Hildegard of Bingen, Bonaventure, Meister Eckhart, and Evagrius Ponticus from the Christian tradition, as well as the Sufi poet Rumi and the Buddhist divine Dogen. read more

A good review. I look forward to reading this when my book arrives.

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