From Library Journal
Mystics, those men and women who seek a deep and direct experience with the presence of God, are found across the religious spectrum. Their appeal transcends the boundaries of their own particular religious traditions. Think Francis of Assisi or Thomas Merton. Here, King (theology and religious studies, Univ. of Bristol, U.K.) introduces 60 Christian mystics, both male and female, in two- to five-page profiles. The author begins with the early mystics, such as Clement of Alexandria, and then moves to figures closer to our era, like Gerard Manley Hopkins, Evelyn Underhill, and Simone Weil (some readers may be surprised at these more contemporary examples). The brief, well-written introductions are informative while also leaving the reader with the desire to delve deeper. Serving as both an introductory text and an excellent reference, this is recommended for various types of libraries. John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Defining a mystic as "a person who is deeply aware of the powerful presence of the divine Spirit: someone who seeks above all, the knowledge and love of God and who experiences to an extraordinary degree the profoundly personal encounter with the energy of divine life," King profiles 60 men and women across the centuries and the continents who unquestionably qualify for this unique distinction. Tracing Christian mysticism from its Greek and Jewish roots, the author introduces a diverse array of familiar and unfamiliar mystics, courageous individualists who commune with the divine along a variety of distinctive paths. Through their stories, the somewhat arcane--but always substantial--tradition of mystical theology is made manifest. This historically and spiritually rich narrative provides insight into a phenomenon that is currently enjoying a renaissance. REVWRCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved