A Course in Christian Mysticism

A Course in Christian Mysticism

4.2 (35 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Foreword by  , Edited by 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days

When will my order arrive?

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 9-12 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Thomas Merton's lectures to the young monastics at the Abbey of Gethsemani provide a good look at Merton the scholar. A Course in Christian Mysticism gathers together, for the first time, the best of these talks into a spiritual, historical, and theological survey of Christian mysticism-from St. John's gospel to St. John of the Cross. Sixteen centuries are covered over thirteen lectures. A general introduction sets the scene for when and how the talks were prepared and for the perennial themes one finds in them, making them relevant for spiritual seekers today. This compact volume allows anyone to learn from one of the twentieth century's greatest Catholic spiritual teachers. The study materials at the back of the book, including additional primary source readings and thoughtful questions for reflection and discussion, make this an essential text for any student of Christian mysticism.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 13mm | 340.19g
  • Collegeville, MN, United States
  • English
  • 0814645089
  • 9780814645086
  • 220,628

Table of contents

Foreword - Michael N. McGregor
Editor's Prologue
Lecture 1: The Aim of This Course
Lecture 2: Mystical Theology in St. John's Gospel
Lecture 3: Martyrs and Gnostics (Ignatius, Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen)
Lecture 4: Divinization and Mysticism (The Cappadocian Fathers)
Lecture 5: Evagrius Ponticus
Lecture 6: Contemplation and the Cosmos (Maximus the Confessor)
Lecture 7: The Dionysian Tradition
Lecture 8: Western Mysticism: The Influence of St. Augustine
Lecture 9: St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Lecture 10: St. Bernard's Sermons on the Song of Songs. .
Lecture 11: Fourteenth Century Mysticism: The Beguines, Eckhart, Tauler
Lecture 12: Spanish Mysticism: St. Teresa of Avila and Others
Lecture 13: St. John of the Cross: Dark Nights and Spiritual Crises
More Sources and Readings
Group Discussion Topics and Questions
Editor's Notes
show more

Review quote

"Called to the mystical life?" Merton suggest that we all are. Not sure where to start? This Course in Christian Mysticism will set you on a solid foundation as you learn from one of the great teachers of the last century."Tjurunga "A welcome contribution to the summaries of the history of Christian spirituality that exist. It is also a great testament to Merton's erudition and to all that he brought to the novices and juniors of his own community."The Downside Review "This text is an excellent resource not only to academics but also for sincere aspirants seeking an accessible introduction to a spiritual life." Reading Religion "This is a wonderful book. Straight from Merton himself, it brings us a thorough introduction to, and survey of, the range and depth of Christian mysticism."The Merton Journal "A fresh, engaging, and accessible course on Christian mysticism from a genuine Christian mystic-this book is a treasure. In his impressive synthesis, Jon M. Sweeney has made some of Thomas Merton's best lectures on some of the greatest Christian mystics available to everyone."Joseph Raab, STL, PhD, Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Siena Heights University, Co-Editor of The Merton Annual: Studies in Culture, Spirituality and Social Concerns "This wonderful volume transports the reader across time and space and permits us to become students of Thomas Merton alongside his novitiate formandi. The genius of Merton's scholarly mind and prayerful spirit are on full display as he takes us on a historical and spiritual journey of discovery. A Course in Christian Mysticism is not only a must-read text for fans of Merton, but also a great introduction to the history of Christian mystical spirituality through the centuries."Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Catholic Theological Union "A Course in Christian Mysticism is an excellent source for those who want to begin a systematic study of the great early masters of the Christian mystical tradition. Merton offers us his keen perception of these teachings with an eye to our contemporary search for the Divine, that `mystery of our union with God.' Merton's command of the sources is aided by Sweeney's skilled editing, which makes Merton's lectures more accessible to readers. I highly recommend this resource."Laura Swan, OSB, Associate editor of Magistra "With both Merton's masterful lectures on Christian mysticism, and the helpful guide questions at the end, this book presents not only an intellectual exploration of the mystical texts but also a profound spiritual engagement with contemplative prayer for those who wish to drink deeply from the wells of this spiritual tradition."Carmel Posa, SGS, Executive Director, New Norcia Institute
show more

About OCSO Thomas Merton

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and one of religion's most respected writers. His many books include James Martin, SJ: In the Company of Jesus, in the "People of God" series; The Pope Who Quit, which was optioned by HBO; and The Pope's Cat, a popular fiction series for children. He edited A Course in Christian Mysticism by Thomas Merton, published by Liturgical Press. Sweeney writes regularly for America in the US, and The Tablet in the UK. He is the publisher at Paraclete Press in Massachusetts, and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and daughters.
show more

Rating details

35 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 40% (14)
4 43% (15)
3 14% (5)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X