The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism
An Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality
Available August 29, 2023
This revised and expanded edition offers a big possibility: the hope of achieving real, experiential union with God.
"The Christian of the future will be a mystic—or will not exist." This word of warning from theologian Karl Rahner was uttered half a century ago, and today, Christianity is indeed in crisis. Is mysticism necessary for the survival of Christianity? What exactly is Christian mysticism? How can it be relevant in our crisis-ridden world? Questions like these inspire The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism, a newly updated edition from beloved spiritual teacher and bestselling author Carl McColman.
The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism serves as both introduction and practical instruction for a living contemplative practice today. In addition to the overview of mysticism, spiritual and prayer practices in mysticism, the various types of mysticism in Christian tradition, and influential mystics through the millennia, this second edition offers an embodied understanding of the mystic life with a more diverse range of voices and perspectives, from Howard Thurman to Pauli Murray. It also includes new chapters and themes that address embodied mysticism, contemplation and social justice, and the ongoing relevance of Jesus's message of radical equality and inclusivity.
This bigger book introduces both Christians and non-Christians to the contemplative tradition within Christianity, a tradition that has often been marginalized or cloistered (to the church's detriment). As a practice-oriented book, this is an invitation to embrace the mystical element within Christianity—a practice that can equip faithful persons with a joyful sense of divine intimacy, not just for personal benefit but as a foundation to a life of service and activism in the interest of justice.
McColman's overview of mysticism shows how it has been practiced and lived through the centuries and will prove inspirational for today's seekers, regardless of their faith tradition. At its heart, Christian mysticism is an ancient practice that incorporates meditation, contemplation, worship, philosophy, the quest for enlightenment, the thirst for a better world, and the experience of divine presence.