Love Burning in the Soul
The Story of Christian Mystics, from Saint Paul to Thomas Merton
By James Harpur
(New Seeds, Paperback, 9781590301128, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 11, 2005
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The heart of the Christian faith is a direct encounter with God so profound that it can be referred to as union. It is an experience that cannot be described in words, but it can be glimpsed—in the radiant lives of the men and women called mystics. Here James Harpur presents the stories of some of the most influential Christian mystics from the past two thousand years. He provides their historical and ecclesiastical contexts, as well as appreciations of the unique contributions of each of them to the ongoing articulation of the way of love and union. Love Burning in the Soul is a comprehensive and highly readable survey of the great Christian mystical tradition for everyone. Included are:
Clement of Alexandria * Gregory of Nyssa * John Scotus Eriugena * Bernard of Clairvaux * Hildegard of Bingen * Francis of Assisi * Mechtild of Magdeburg * Meister Eckhart * John Tauler * Jan van Ruysbroeck * Gregory Palamas * Richard Rolle * Julian of Norwich * Catherine of Siena * Jacob Boehme * George Fox * Teresa of Ávila * François Fénelon * Jean Pierre de Caussade * William Blake * Pierre Teilhard de Chardin * Thomas Merton * Many others
James Harpur studied Classics and English literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has had a lifelong interest in the spiritual and mystical aspects of religion. He has written a number of books on religion, particularly the Christian mystical tradition, including Sacred Tracks: Two Thousand Years of Christian Pilgrimage and The Atlas of Sacred Places. He is also a prize-winning poet whose three collections of verse reflect his interest in the Christian contemplative tradition.
"James Harpur has written an excellent historical overview of the Christian mystical tradition for those who want to dip their toes into that vast ocean. He presents the mystics as human beings immersed in the stream of human history, which makes it easier to sort them out and remember them. I salute him for including some important figures often left out of the usual surveys."—Tessa Bielecki, author of Teresa of Ávila: Ecstasy and Common Sense