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A Course in Christian Mysticism

by Thomas Merton, (Author), Michael N McGregor, (Foreword by)

Thomas Merton's lectures to the young monastics at the Abbey of Gethsemani provide a good look at Merton the scholar. A Course in Christian Mysticism gathers together, for the first time, the best of these talks into a spiritual, historical, and theological survey of Christian mysticism--from St. John's gospel to St. John of the Cross. Sixteen centuries are covered over thirteen lectures. A general introduction sets the scene for when and how the talks were prepared and for the perennial themes one finds in them, making them relevant for spiritual seekers today. This compact volume allows anyone to learn from one of the twentieth century's greatest Catholic spiritual teachers. The study materials at the back of the book, including additional primary source readings and thoughtful questions for reflection and discussion, make this an essential text for any student of Christian mysticism.

Contents
Foreword - Michael N. McGregor
Editor's Prologue
Preface
Lecture 1: The Aim of This Course
Lecture 2: Mystical Theology in St. John's Gospel
Lecture 3: Martyrs and Gnostics (Ignatius, Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen)
Lecture 4: Divinization and Mysticism (The Cappadocian Fathers)
Lecture 5: Evagrius Ponticus
Lecture 6: Contemplation and the Cosmos (Maximus the Confessor)
Lecture 7: The Dionysian Tradition
Lecture 8: Western Mysticism: The Influence of St. Augustine
Lecture 9: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Lecture 10: St. Bernard's Sermons on the Song of Songs. .
Lecture 11: Fourteenth Century Mysticism: The B├ęguines, Eckhart, Tauler
Lecture 12: Spanish Mysticism: St. Teresa of Avila and Others
Lecture 13: St. John of the Cross: Dark Nights and Spiritual Crises
More Sources and Readings
Group Discussion Topics and Questions
Editor's Notes
Index

Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Catholic convert, Cistercian monk and hermit, poet, contemplative, social critic, and pioneer of interreligious dialogue, was a seminal figure of twentieth-century American Christianity.