Review Essay of The Cambridge Compassion to Christian Mysticism and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism

Volume
Volume 8
Issue
Issue 1, Spring 2015
Title
Review Essay of The Cambridge Compassion to Christian Mysticism and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism
Abstract

The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism, edited by Amy Hollywood and Patricia Z. Beckman. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 400pp.

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Christian Mysticism, edited by Julia A. Lamm. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 672pp.

Reviewed by Tom Schwanda, Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL)

Mysticism is a topic that is feared by many, including some Evangelicals. Critics may agree with the nineteenth-century English Benedictine Cardinal Gasquet who once mused that mysticism “begin[s] with mist and end[s] in schism.”1 More recently detractors have embellished the quip declaring that mysticism begins with “mist” centers on the “I” and ends with “schism.” Unquestionably there have been distortions and abuses that have been associated with the mystical element of Christianity. Nevertheless this elusive term has played a significant role in Christian spirituality. In recent years there has been considerable research that has sought to recover both the validity and varieties of Christian mysticism. Most notably is Bernard McGinn’s magisterial multi-volume work on The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism (Crossroad Publishing). McGinn has published five volumes that have only reached the year 1550 and has yet to examine the Protestant contributions to this field.

Author
Dr. Tom Schwanda
Pages
104 - 107
Price
Add to Cart $5.00