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Christian Mysticism and Spirituality Research Guide: Find Books

A guide to the research of Christian Mysticism and Spirituality for the School of Theology at the University of the South

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Helpful call numbers

BV5015-5068 Asceticism

BV5070-5095 Mysticism  

BX200-756 Orthodox Eastern Church 

BX800-4795 Catholic Church 

BX2325-2333 Saints. Hagiology

BX2347-2377 Practical religion. Christian life

BX2380-2386 Religious life. Religious state

BX2400-4563 Monasticism. Religious orders

BX2890-4192 Religious orders of men

BX4200-4563 Religious orders of women 

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Classics of Western Spirituality

By searching for 'Classics of Western Spirituality' in the catalog, you will find all of the titles that Sewanee owns of this series (100+). This series is mainly comprised of writings by Christian writers many of whom were mystics. Each book in this highly respected series features an excellent introduction by a leading scholar as well as the writings of the mystic either in the original or a well done translation.

This is the very best series for engaging directly with the writings of mystics without learning the original languages!

Mysticism/Spirituality Books in the Library

The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism (5 vols.)

More than 25 years in the making, this magisterial volume uncovers the riches of one of the greatest periods of mystical wisdom in Christian history: the “vernacular” spirituality of the late medieval period in Europe. The compilation incorporates more than a century of new research from around the globe, demonstrating how this period gave rise to many mystical writers who remain influential even today, including Julian of Norwich, Eckhart’s follower Jan van Ruusbroec, and the inspirational doctor of the church and visionary, Catherine of Siena. With unmatched knowledge of the primary works and scholarship around the globe, this study illustrates the unique genius of each mystical teacher as well as how they build on one another’s insights to pursue a life in God’s presence. Specific types of mysticism covered include Trinitarian, late medieval Italian, renaissance, and the golden age of English mysticism.

Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed

'Spirituality' is a word that is used increasingly these days yet it is often ill-defined. What exactly is spirituality? Is it distinct from religion and can we separate it from beliefs and traditions? Does spirituality mainly focus on spiritual experiences and practices or is it something more? This book suggests that, while there may be common features in the use of the word, 'spirituality' is not a single reality. Different 'spiritualities' reflect particular religious or philosophical viewpoints, as well as the cultural contexts in which they arise and develop. Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed provides students and general readers with a reliable and comprehensive guide to 'spirituality' as an area of study, religiously, historically, philosophically and in the social sciences. It explores the tools that are used to study the subject and to interpret spiritual classics (whether these are written texts or other forms such as art) from different times and cultures. Attention is paid to spirituality in a variety of religious and non-religious forms in their own terms and comparatively. However, for the sake of simplicity greatest attention is given to the study of spirituality within a religious perspective with illustrations drawn from texts, personalities and themes associated with five major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The book concludes with an exploration of spirituality in contemporary perspective - in particular how spirituality is currently employed in areas such as health-care, education and business among other examples.

Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters

The concept of spirituality permeates modern culture: from academic book series on ''Classics of Western Spirituality'' to self-help manuals, from the use of Buddhist mindfulness meditation (typically detached from Buddhist religious teachings) in medical treatment to "nature spirituality,"from spiritually oriented peace activists to spiritually oriented new age music. Spirituality has become a common part of our cultural vocabulary. It is not only an important concept in its own right but plays productive and significant roles in the realms of psychology, ecology, medicine, and evenpolitics. Millions call themselves "spiritual but not religious," academics describe much of contemporary religious life in the U.S. as focused on a spiritually oriented "seeking," and a quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books whose titles take the general form of The Spirituality of X orSpirituality and Y. At the same time, the concept is used in widely conflicting, often confusing ways. Most people think they know what it is when they see it, but attempts to define spirituality or understand it coherently are frequently limited, distorted, or ahistorical. Roger Gottlieb provides a lucid and accessible overview of what spirituality is, enabling readers to gain a clear-eyed understanding of the concept, its manifold connections to other aspects of personal and social life, its role as a positive psychological and social phenomenon, and some of therisks that attend it. The book combines thoughtful analysis with a generally sympathetic perspective in which spirituality is viewed as a potentially beneficial form of personal identity and practice, and a possible antidote to a number of the psychic ailments and social pathologies of contemporarysociety.

Christian Mysticism: An Introduction to Contemporary Theoretical Approaches

This book introduces students to Christian mysticism and modern critical responses to it. Christianity has a rich tradition of mystical theology that first emerged in the writings of the early church fathers, and flourished during the Middle Ages. Today Christian mysticism is increasingly recognised as an important Christian heritage relevant to today's spiritual seekers. The book sets out to provide students and other interested readers with access to the main theoretical approaches to Christian mysticism - including those propounded by William James, Steven Katz, Bernard McGinn, Michael Sells, Denys Turner and Caroline Walker-Bynum. It also explores postmodern re-readings of Christian mysticism by authors such as Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion and Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard. The book first introduces students to the main themes that underpin Christian mysticism. It then reflects on how modern critics have understood each of them, demonstrating that stark delineation between the different theoretical approaches eventually collapses under the weight of the complex interaction between experience and knowledge that lies at the heart of Christian mysticism. In doing so, the book presents a deliberate challenge to a strictly perennialist reading of Christian mysticism. Anyone even remotely familiar with Christian mysticism will know that renewed interest in Christian mystical writers has created a huge array of scholarship with which students of mysticism need to familiarise themselves. This book outlines the various modern theoretical approaches in a manner easily accessible to a reader with little or no previous knowledge of this area, and offers a philosophical/theological introduction to Christian mystical writers beyond the patristic period important for the Latin Western Tradition.

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