The Foundations of Mysticism

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Front Cover for The Foundations of Mysticism

The Foundations of Mysticism

Origins to the Fifth Century

In this first volume of the highly-acclaimed Presence of God series, McGinn explores mystical texts and their place in the tradition: early Judaica, pre-Christian Greek works, the New Testament, Greek and Latin patristic writings, and early monasticism. 

Of special interest is the now-influential appendix, which reviews various theoretical approaches to mysticism.

Reviews and endorsements

“An erudite, sober-minded, balanced work sure to become a standard resource for scholars and students.”
Library Journal

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“This is definitely a book to be treasured by anyone seriously interested in Christian mysticism.”
Spiritual Life

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“A work of encyclopedic proportions.”
Choice

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“Bernard McGinn has enriched the knowledge of our spiritual tradition as no other work in recent memory has done.”
The Thomist

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“The first book of a set that every Christian library needs in order to adequately meet the year 2000. A must for every student of spirituality [and] every spiritual director.”
Review for Religious

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“To say that McGinn tells his story well would do him an injustice.  He has simply offered the best available account of the symbolical crucible from which Christian mysticism sprang . . . An important book that will profit even those suspicious of mysticism.”
Word & World

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“No one will be able to write on Christian mysticism without taking this extraordinary book into account. If the forthcoming volumes possess its quality, McGinn will have written the most important synoptic, single-author presentation of the Western mystical tradition in any language in this century.”
Theological Studies

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“An extraordinary work. A ‘first’ of its kind. The church, particularly those who do any teaching or direction in the spiritual life, need a reference book of this caliber.”
The Living Church

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“A truly magnificent book. It seems set to become a much-needed standard study of Western Christian mysticism.”
The Way


9780824514044
Paperback / 516 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4
HERDER & HERDER, 2004