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Mysticism: Its History and Challenge Paperback – January 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bruno Borchert's is a readable classic, as well as a reference for home, public and academic libraries. Beefy in size and nourishing to boot, it is hard to imagine a less stuffy, more complete compendium. In Part I, ``The Phenomenon of Mysticism,'' Borchert compares being in love to mystical experience. Part II, ``The History of Mysticism,'' covers the East; Iran; Israel; the Hellenistic world; a feminist worldview; God as Lover and Beloved; the mystical retreat; and more. Part III, ``The Mystical Way,'' shines a light on contemporary paths, concluding simply and profoundly with two poems. Copious, eclectic illustrations and satisfying appendices (i.e., ``Mapping Mystical Influences,'' ``Timeliness,'' ``A Glossary of Mystics,'' etc.), bibliography and indices put the final shine on this star. Illustrations.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Originally published in Dutch in 1989, this work does not live up to the promise of its title. Borchert, a Dutch writer of spiritual and scientific issues, covers mainly the Western traditions, leaving only a few pages for the vastness of Eastern thought. His prejudices in this area are evident; for example, he correctly identifies yoga as a practice rather than a religion, then erroneously dismisses it. Such misrepresentation is not worthy of the rest of the work, which contains an excellent description of mysticism and an exhaustive history of Christian mysticism, with Zoroaster, the Greeks, and some Jewish tradition thrown in. In this regard, Borchert offers a fine work within a limited scope, emphasizing history with little consideration of current thought and usage. Librarians interested in the Eastern point of view should consider works by George Feuerstein (e.g., Sacred Paths , LJ 2/1/92) as well as the original texts of Eastern thought and scripture.
- Marilyn E. Schafer, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic Coll., Toronto
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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