- Series: The Presence of God
- Paperback: 494 pages
- Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; First Trade Paperback edition (April 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0824514041
- ISBN-13: 978-0824514044
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Foundations of Mysticism: Origins to the Fifth Century (The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism, Vol. 1) Paperback – April 1, 2004
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"A truly magnificent book." -- The Way
"Bernard McGinn has enriched the knowledge of our spiritual tradition as no other work in recent memory has done." -- The Thomist
"No one will be able to write on Christian mysticism without taking this extraordinary book into account." -- Theological Studies
About the Author
Bernard McGinn is one is of the greatest living authorities on Catholic historical theology. The Naomi Shenstone Donnelly Professor (Emeritus) of historical theology and history of Christianity at the University of Chicago, McGinn holds a Ph.D. from Brandeis University and an S.T.L. from the Pontifical Gregorian University. McGinn has lectured on and written extensively about the history of apocalyptic thought and recently has focused his attention on the fields of spirituality and mysticism. His current long-range project is a seven-volume history of Christian mysticism in the West called The Presence of God.
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In his introduction McGinn tells us that this book will 'be concerned with Latin Christian mysticism' (Pg 3) . His account will include the influence of Judaism and Greek Philosophy. This is not a book you read from cover to cover. You study sections pertaining to your current work but be assurred that this work is necessary for every student of mysticism. Highly recommened. A superb account.
Although every McGinn book is good, "The Foundation of Mysticism," the first volume in McGinn's series on Western Christian mysticism, is considerably better than the second one: "The Growth of Mysticism: From Gregory to the Twelfth Century." Hence, if you decide to purchase a McGinn book on Christian mysticism, this first volume is the one to get.
Part II, "The Beginnings of Western Mysticism," concentrates primarily on Augustine although the Early Latin Fathers Ambrose of Milan, Jerome, and John Cassian are discussed. If all this wasn't enough, we are graced with a very valuable appendix that discusses all the major modern contributors to the study of mysticism. The appendix is divided into three sections according to approach: Theological, Philosophical, and Comparativist & Psychological. Names referenced include Schweitzer, Inge, Underhill, Kirk, Butler, Poulain, Merton, James, Von Hugel, Marechal, Maritain, Stace, Otto, Zaehner, Leuba, Jung, Scholem, and Huxley. This book (and series) is absolutely essential reading for those interested in mysticism.
Unfortunately McGinn (for understandable constraints of time and space) focuses on the Western rather than Eastern Christian mystical tradition, which is unfortunate, as his great learning would have thrown valuable light on that neglected area. Nevertheless, this series remains essential reading for anyone interested in Christian mysticism and its development.