Classics of the Christian Mystical Tradition

A Listmania! list by B. L. Cloud "reader" (Eau Claire, WI United States)
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Origen: An Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer, and Selected Works
1.  Origen: An Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer, and Selected Works by Origen
The list author says:
  "Origen (c. 185-254), Christian mystic and early father of the Church, was born in Alexandria and lived through the turbulent years during the collapse of the Roman Empire. He sought to rescue and transform what was best of the Roman world and to translate the Christian spiritual quest into a language intelligible to the thoughtful and educated nonbeliever of his day."
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Athanasius : The Life of Antony and the Letter To Marcellinus
2.  Athanasius : The Life of Antony and the Letter To Marcellinus by Saint Athanasius Patriarch of Alexandria
The list author says:
  "Athanasius (295–373), whom most Protestants traditionally regard as a great leader of the Church, was a theologian, Pope of Alexandria, and a noted Egyptian leader of the 4th century. He is best remembered for his role in the conflict with Arius and Arianism. His famous account, The Life of Antony, tells the spiritual story of St. Antony, the founder of Christian monasticism"
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Gregory of Nyssa: The Life of Moses (Classics of Western Spirituality)
3.  Gregory of Nyssa: The Life of Moses (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Gregory of Nyssa
The list author says:
  "St. Gregory of Nyssa (335-394), became bishop of the small town of Nyssa in 371 and is known as one of the founders of mystical theology in the Church. In The Life of Moses, one of the most important books in Christian mysticism, Gregory retells the story of Moses's life from the biblical account in Exodus and Numbers and then uses these stories as the basis for profound spiritual lessons"
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Augustine of Hippo, Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
4.  Augustine of Hippo, Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo
The list author says:
  "St. Augustine (354-430) was a philosopher and theologian, and was bishop of the North African city of Hippo Regius for the last third of his life. Augustine is one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity, and is considered to be one of the church fathers. This book features selections from his writings, including Confessions and The City of God"
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Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Spirituality)
5.  Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Spirituality) by the Areopagite Pseudo-Dionysius
The list author says:
  "Pseudo-Dionysius was a Christian theologian and philosopher of the late 5th to early 6th century, the author of the Corpus Areopagiticum (before 532). His works are mystical and show strong Neoplatonic influence. For example he uses Plotinus' well-known analogy of a sculptor cutting away that which does not enhance the desired image."
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Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works (The Classics of Western Spirituality)
6.  Bernard of Clairvaux: Selected Works (The Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
The list author says:
  "Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) was both a mystic and a reformer. During the 12th century this gentle monk from France became the primary guide for those who follow the path of selfless love as well as a spokesman for a revival in monastic life."
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Honey and Salt: Selected Spiritual Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux
7.  Honey and Salt: Selected Spiritual Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
The list author says:
  "Bernard of Clairvaux wrote that 'Jesus is honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, a cry of joy in the heart.' Critical of the monastic opulence of his times, Bernard exhorted his monks to consider that 'Salt with hunger is seasoning enough for a man living soberly and wisely.' This edition is a selection for the general reader of Bernard’s sermons, treatises, and letters"
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Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias (Classics of Western Spirituality)
8.  Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Hildegard
The list author says:
  "(1098-1179) was widely consulted as an oracle and prophet and wrote prolifically on doctrinal matters, as well as on secular matters like medicine. Elected a magistra in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. Scivias, her major religious work, consists of 26 visions, which are first set down literally as she saw them, and are then explained exegetically"
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Selected Writings: Hildegard of Bingen (Penguin Classics)
9.  Selected Writings: Hildegard of Bingen (Penguin Classics) by Saint Hildegard
The list author says:
  "Hildegard, the 'Sybil of the Rhine,' was a Benedictine nun and one of the most prolific and original women writers of the Middle Ages. Arranged thematically, this edition of her work brings together selections from her visionary trilogy, her treatise on medicine and the natural world, and her songs and correspondence."
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Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (The Classics of Western Spirituality)
10.  Francis and Clare: The Complete Works (The Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Francis of Assisi
The list author says:
  "St. Francis (1181-1226) is well-known for his love of nature and his remarkable life of poverty. Clare (1194-1253) is the woman who lived out his legacy in Assisi after his death, passing on his vision and his cause. Together they shaped the spirituality of early 13th-century Europe. Both born to noble families, they rejected their wealth and founded religious orders. Selected letters and writings"
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Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis (The Classics of Western Spirituality)
11.  Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis (The Classics of Western Spirituality) by Bonaventure, Saint, Cardinal
The list author says:
  "Bonaventure (1221–1274), an Italian theologian and monk, is widely considered the greatest Franciscan mystic after St. Francis himself. Commissioned by the Franciscan Order, Bonaventure wrote this official biography of St. Francis of Assisi in 1260 - his account is simple yet inspiring, and essential reading for those looking to understand the remarkable life and spirituality of this revered saint"
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The Little Flowers of St. Francis
12.  The Little Flowers of St. Francis by Raphael Brown
The list author says:
  "Written by Ugolino in Latin, this was translated into the Italian Tuscan dialect by an anonymous translator and named The Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi, a collection of anecdotes regarding St. Francis and his early disciples. In this context 'Fioretti' ('garden of flowers') means simply 'more noteworthy things,' things omitted from the formal biographies of the Saint."
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Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises and Defense (Classics of Western Spirituality)
13.  Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises and Defense (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Meister Eckhart
The list author says:
  "Selections from the writings of the German–born Meister Eckhart (1260–1328), Dominican philosopher and spiritual master; from counsels on discernment to a treatise on detachment as the most essential virtue"
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Meister Eckhart: Teacher and Preacher
14.  Meister Eckhart: Teacher and Preacher by Meister Eckhart
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Selected Writings (Penguin Classics)
15.  Selected Writings (Penguin Classics) by Meister Eckhart
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The Cloud of Unknowing (The Classics of Western Spirituality)
16.  The Cloud of Unknowing (The Classics of Western Spirituality) by James Walsh
The list author says:
  "Written by an anonymous English monk during the late 14th century, The Cloud of Unknowing is a sublime expression of what separates God from humanity. A work of simplicity, courage, and lucidity, it is a contemplative classic on the deep mysteries of faith."
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The Pursuit of Wisdom and Other Works by the Author of the Cloud of Unknowing (Classics of Western Spirituality)
17.  The Pursuit of Wisdom and Other Works by the Author of the Cloud of Unknowing (Classics of Western Spirituality) by James Walsh
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The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works (Penguin Classics)
18.  The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works (Penguin Classics) by Anonymous
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Julian of Norwich: Showings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
19.  Julian of Norwich: Showings (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Julian of Norwich
The list author says:
  "Julian (1342–1416), was an English anchoress who is regarded as one of the most important Christian mystics. She received 16 'showings' or revelations of God's love in a series of experienced visions. The first version was a short text. The second, longer version was apparently written some years after the first, when she had had time to pray and reflect about the teachings God had given her."
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The Showings of Julian of Norwich (Norton Critical Editions)
20.  The Showings of Julian of Norwich (Norton Critical Editions) by Julian of Norwich
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Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text and Long Text)
21.  Revelations of Divine Love (Short Text and Long Text) by Julian of Norwich
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The Imitation of Christ (Vintage Spiritual Classics)
22.  The Imitation of Christ (Vintage Spiritual Classics) by Thomas ŕ Kempis
The list author says:
  "Kempis (1380-1471) was a late Medieval Catholic monk. A prolific copyist and writer, Thomas's life was a quiet one, his time being spent between devotional exercises, composition, and copying. This meditation on the spiritual life has inspired readers from Thomas More and St. Ignatius Loyola to Thomas Merton."
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Saint Thomas More: Selected Writings
23.  Saint Thomas More: Selected Writings by Thomas More
The list author says:
  "More (1478–1535). This book draws on a variety of More's late writings--the 'Tower Works,' written in prison, his last letters to his daughter Margaret, and his poems, private prayers and devotional works."
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Ignatius of Loyola: Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works (Classics of Western Spirituality)
24.  Ignatius of Loyola: Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The list author says:
  "Ignatius (1491–1556) was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. The insight of the Exercises is that the divine love of God is providentially present in all the details of our existence"
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Personal Writings (Penguin Classics)
25.  Personal Writings (Penguin Classics) by Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The list author says:
  "A man who turned away from the Spanish nobility to create the revolutionary Jesuit Order, inspired by the desire to help people follow Christ. His Reminiscences describe his early life, his religious conversion following near-paralysis in battle, and his spiritual and physical ordeals as he struggled to assist those in need, including plague, persecution and imprisonment."
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John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety (Classics of Western Spirituality)
26.  John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety (Classics of Western Spirituality) by John Calvin
The list author says:
  "John Calvin (1509-1564), a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and a central developer of Reformed theology (a.k.a. Calvinism). In Geneva, his ministry both attracted other Protestant refugees and over time made that city a major force in the spread of Reformed theology. He is renowned for his teachings and writings, particularly his Institutes of the Christian Religion."
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John Calvin: Steward of God's Covenant: Selected Writings
27.  John Calvin: Steward of God's Covenant: Selected Writings by John Calvin
The list author says:
  "This selection of Calvin's writings is the first for general readers to appear in many years. Includes selections from his sermons, Bible commentaries, tracts, and letters."
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Teresa of Avila: Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality)
28.  Teresa of Avila: Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Teresa of Avila
The list author says:
  "Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), a renowned Spanish mystic and writer of the Counter Reformation, received the vision for The Interior Castle one Sunday in 1577. In this signature work, Teresa uses the castle as a symbol for the interior life to describe her mystical experience of the presence of God."
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John of the Cross: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
29.  John of the Cross: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint John of the Cross
The list author says:
  "John of the Cross (1542-1591) was a major figure of the Counter Reformation, a Spanish mystic, Carmelite friar and priest, and contemporary of Teresa of Avila who became one of Christianity's foremost spiritual teachers. This volume contains his most stirring works, including the classic The Dark Night, in which John expands on the role of darkness in the spiritual journey"
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Introduction to the Devout Life
30.  Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales
The list author says:
  "(1567-1622) a 17th-century bishop of Geneva and Roman Catholic saint"
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Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction (Classics of Western Spirituality)
31.  Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Saint Francis de Sales
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John Donne: Selections from Divine Poems, Sermons, Devotions and Prayers (Classics of Western Spirituality)
32.  John Donne: Selections from Divine Poems, Sermons, Devotions and Prayers (Classics of Western Spirituality) by John Donne
The list author says:
  "(1572-1631)"
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The Pietists: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
33.  The Pietists: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Peter C. Erb
The list author says:
  "Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism from the late-17th to the mid-18th century. Influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, it inspired Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, and Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. It combined the Lutheran emphasis on Biblical doctrine with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety, and a vigorous Christian life."
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William Law: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, The Spirit of Love (Classics of Western Spirituality)
34.  William Law: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, The Spirit of Love (Classics of Western Spirituality) by William Law
The list author says:
  "William Law (1686-1761) was an Anglican priest who specialized in providing spiritual direction. His best known piece, A Serious Call, deeply influenced English religious revivals. John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Henry Venn, Thomas Scott and Thomas Adam all express their debt to the author. Samuel Johnson , Gibbon, Lord Lyttelton and Bishop Home all spoke enthusiastically of its merits"
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John and Charles Wesley: Selected Prayers, Hymns, Journal Notes, Sermons, Letters and Treatises (Classics of Western Spirituality)
35.  John and Charles Wesley: Selected Prayers, Hymns, Journal Notes, Sermons, Letters and Treatises (Classics of Western Spirituality) by John Wesley
The list author says:
  "John (1703-1791) and Charles (1707-1788) Wesley led the Methodist revival that swept 18th-century England and America and changed the face of Christianity forever. Their spirituality synthesized a unique blend of elements from the church fathers, Catholic mystics, and Protestant Reformers. This selection includes John's incisive writings on the spiritual life as well as Charles’ famous hymns."
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The Supplicating Voice: The Spiritual Writings of Samuel Johnson
36.  The Supplicating Voice: The Spiritual Writings of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson
The list author says:
  "Johnson (1709-1784). This book draws on little-known unsigned sermons he wrote for hire for clergy friends, his private prayers and devotions, essays, poems, diaries, letters."
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Selected Sermons (Classics of Western Spirituality)
37.  Selected Sermons (Classics of Western Spirituality) by John Henry Newman
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  "Newman (1801–1890)"
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Selected Sermons, Prayers, and Devotions
38.  Selected Sermons, Prayers, and Devotions by John Henry Newman
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Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Norton Critical Editions)
39.  Apologia Pro Vita Sua (Norton Critical Editions) by John Henry Newman
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Mortal Beauty, God's Grace: Major Poems and Spiritual Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins
40.  Mortal Beauty, God's Grace: Major Poems and Spiritual Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The list author says:
  "(1844-1889) Hopkins was a British Victorian poet and Jesuit priest."
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B. L. Cloud "reader" (Eau Claire, WI United States)
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Last updated: 4/19/14
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