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Mystical Theology: The Science of Love Hardcover – March, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Johnston's primary contribution to this field is his updating the understandings of centuries and placing them in a modern context. For example, he takes the three traditional ways of spiritual growth, purgative, illuminative and unitive ways and correlates his experience of Eastern mysticism, the call to non-violence, and modern psychology with them. The language is clear, the meanings precise, and the index is thorough. You can use this book as a basic research tool for mysticism or contemplation. I wished I had had this book before I wrote a published article last year. It would have formed a backbone to my article that other resources do not have.
Johnston's book is broad-based and has great depth. It could easily become the "Bible" and the "dictionary, if not encyclopedia" in its field. Its only weakness (and probably because it would have made it overly long)is that it does not trace the history of Western or Eastern Christian mysticism in great depth. However, its theological underpinnings are very strong. I highly reccommend this book not only to scholars but to all those seeking a greater understanding of mystical theology as well as those guiding our contemporary mystics.
William Johnston, a Jesuit missionary living in Japan, has extensive knowledge both of Western spirituality and mysticism and also through his experiences in Japan, of Eastern spirituality and mysticism, especially Zen Buddhism.
Johnston is able to expound the insights of both traditions in a non-sectarian way on the basis of love; Christian agape and Buddhist compassion. He feels both traditions can enrich each other, provided both respect their appropriate boundaries.
I am inclined to agree, being a student both of Christian spirituality and also Eastern religion as well. There is no need for the two traditions to try and 'convert' each other, rather, a dialogue will be more profitable in the longer term.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hard to review a book that is for use in a class setting. I am not really a reader but it served it's purpose It arrived in a timely manor and the price was right. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Caroline Cundiff
If you really want to understand the differences between types of prayer and contemplation, this is the book for you. Citing St.. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Barbara A H Wilson