Early Christian Mystics

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Early Christian Mystics

The Divine Vision of the Spiritual Masters

The McGinns, preeminent scholars of theological history, present sketches of 12 seminal figures vital to the development of Christian mysticism. An accessible interpretation of the distinct characteristics of these spiritual masters’ direct, immediate, and transformative encounters with the presence of God.  

Origen, Evagrius Ponticus, John Cassian, Gregory the Great, Hildegard of Bingen, Richard of St. Victor, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine of Hippo, Dionysius, John the Scot, Bernard of Clairvaux and William of St. Thierry—each of these influential mystics had his or her own unique way of relating the experience of communion with God. The authors give a sense of the general teaching each figure and highlight one defining aspect of the mystic’s contribution to the broader tradition. Following a brief conclusion that summarizes the singular aspects of the subject, the authors share a substantial list of resources for further reading.

A stimulating primer on the early mystics, this popular reader invites us to get to know the founders of a powerful stream within Christianity.

“All the mystics presented here had only one reason for writing: to communicate to their contemporaries and to us, their successors, the message that God is near us, indeed, in our very midst. If we turn our attention toward God, if we call upon all our inner resources, God will reveal to us the divine presence in ways that can neither be imagined nor adequately described.”
—from Early Christian Mystics

9780824521066
Paperback / 256 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4
CROSSROAD, 2003