Roots of Christian Mysticism Reading List

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Reading List

Reading list for the three year course by The World Community for Christian Meditation Region 6

Text Books

  • King, Ursula: Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies Throughout the Ages
  • Healey, Charles J.: Christian Spirituality: An introduction to the Heritage
  • Harvey, Andrew ed. Teachings Of The Christian Mystics
  • Jones, Cheslyn et al., ed. The Study of Spirituality


  • Clement, Olivier: The Roots of Christian Mysticism.
  • Johnston, William: Mystical Theology.
  • Underhill, Evelyn: Mysticism.
  • Augustine of Hippo: Confessions.
  • The Way of A Pilgrim. Annotated and explained. Series Editor, Andrew Harvey, translation and annotation by Gleb Pokrovsky

First year

The Gospels
  • Brown, Raymond: An Introduction to the New Testament.
  • Freeman, Laurence: Jesus: The Teacher Within.
  • Homilies on Genesis and Exodus, Ronald E. Heine, Trans.; The Fathers of the Church #71.Washington DC, Catholic U. of America Press, 1982
  • The Song of Songs Commentary and Homilies, R.H. Lawson, Trans.; Ancient Christian Writers #26. N.Y: Newman Paulist Press, 1956
  • On First Principles, G.W. Butterworth, Trans.; Gloucester, Mass; Peter Smith, 1973
  • Exhortation to Martyrdom, Prayer, and Selected Works, Classics of Western Spirituality; N.Y.:Paulist Press, 1971
The Cappadocian Fathers
  • Meredith, Anthony. The Cappadocians, published by St. Vladimir’s Press.
  • Barrois, Georges. The Fathers Speak, published by St. Vladimir’s Press.
The Desert Mothers and Fathers
  • Merton, Thomas: The Wisdom of the Desert.
  • Swan, Laura: The Forgotten Desert Mothers. Sayings, Lives and Stories of Early Christian Women.
  • Ward, Benedicta: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
  • Ward, Benedicta: Desert Fathers: The Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
  • Ward, Benedicta: The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers.
  • Athanasius: The Life of Anthony.
  • Evagrius: The Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Publications)
John Cassian
  • Cassian, John: The Conferences. Boniface Ramsey, Editor
St. Augustine
  • Burt, Donald: Let Me Know You. Reflections on Augustine’s Search for God.
  • Martin, Thomas: Our Restless Heart. The Augustinian Tradition.
  • Wills, Gary: St. Augustine.
  • Augustine of Hippo: Confessions.
St. Benedict
  • de Waal, Esther: Seeking God.
  • Chittister, Joan: The Rule of Benedict (with commentary).
  • Chittister, Joan: Wisdom Distilled for the Daily - (Spring Arbor)
  • St. Gregory the Great: The Life of St. Benedict

Second year

Hildegard of Bingen
  • Fiona Bowie and Oliver Davies (eds.), 1990, Hildegard of Bingen: An Anthology, London, SPCK.
  • Flanagan, Sabina (ed. and trans.), 1996, Secrets of God: Writings of Hildegard of Bingen, Boston, Shambhala.
  • Columba Hart and Jane Bishop (trans.),1990, Hildegard of Bingen:Scivias, New York, Paulist, Classics of Western Spirituality Series.
  • Newman, Barbara, 1987, Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard’s Theology of the Feminine, Berkeley, University of California Press.
St. Francis
  • Cunningham, Lawrence: Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life (Eerdmans)
Dominican Spirituality/Catherine of Siena
  • Simon Tugwell, OP, 1982, Early Dominicans: Selected Writings, New York, Paulist Press, Classics of Western Spirituality Series.
  • Suzanne Noffke, OP, 1980, Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue, New York, Paulist, Classics of Western Christiantiy Series.
  • ________________ (trans. & ed.), 2nd edition, 2001, The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, San Jose, New York, Authors Choice Press.
  • ________________ 1996, Catherine of Siena: Vision Through a Distant Eye, Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press.
  • Mary O’Driscoll, OP 1993, Catherine of Siena :Passion for the Truth, Compassion for Humanity, New Rochelle, NY, New City Press.
Meister Eckhart
  • Colledge, Edmund & McGinn, Bernard: Meister Eckhart. The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises and Defense.
  • McGinn, Bernard: Meister Eckhart. Teacher and Preacher.
  • McGinn, Bernard: The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart.
  • Fleming, Ursula (editor): Meister Eckhart: The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing
Julian of Norwich
  • Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love
  • ____________ The Cloud of Unknowing
  • William Johnston (editor): The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counseling. Foreword by Houston Smith
St. Ignatius of Loyola
  • Lonsdale, David: Eyes to See, Ears to Hear: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality
  • Ignatius of Loyola: Spiritual Exercises and Collected Works, edited by George E. Ganss, SJ
St. Teresa of Avila
  • Teresa of Avila: The Interior Castle, Trans. Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.,with Introduction by Kieran Kavannaugh, O.C.D. and Preface by Raimundo Paniker (Paulist Press: Mahwah, N.J.: 1979)
St. John of the Cross
  • St. John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul. E. Allison Peers, translator

Third Year

The French Mystics
  • Raymond Deville: The French School of Spirituality: An Introduction and Reader (Duquesne)
The Eastern Orthodox Tradition
  • Colliander, Tito: The Way of the Ascetics
  • Ware, Timothy: The Orthodox Church
Protestant Mystics
  • Jeffrey, David Lyle (editor): English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley, published by Eerdmanns in 1987
  • Heitzenrater’s, Richard: Wesley and the People Called Methodists. Abingdon in 1995.
The Spirituality of Evelyn Underhill
  • Underhill, Evelyn: Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness
  • ____________: The Spiritual Life: Great Spiritual Truths for Everyday Life
  • ____________: The Essentials of Mysticism and other Essays
Simone Weil
  • Weil, Simone: Waiting for God
  • Springsted, Eric O: Simone Weil Writings. Orbis Books
Thomas Merton
  • Merton, Thomas: The Seven Story Mountain, New York: Harcourt, Brace Publisher, 1948.
  • ____________: New Seeds of Contemplation, New York: New Directions Press, 1961.
  • ____________: Contemplative Prayer, New York: Image Books, 1971.
Jacques Maritain: Contemplation on the Roads of the World
  • Maritain, Jacques: Distinguish to Unite, or The Degrees of Knowledge. Trans. Gerald Phelan (Charles Scribner’s Sons, NewYork, 1959).[Second Part only: “The Degrees of Suprarational Knowledge,” pp. 247-383].
  • Smith, Brooke Williams: Jacques Maritain: Antimodern or Ultramodern? (Elsevier, New York,1976)
John Main
  • Main, John: Christian Meditation: The Gethsemani Talks
  • Main, John: Word into Silence
  • Main, John: Community of Love
Bede Griffiths

*Griffiths, Bede: The Golden String. An Autobiography
*Griffiths, Bede: The New Creation in Christ
*Griffiths, Bede: A New Vision of Reality

  • Swami Abhishiklananda: His Life Told Through His Letters
  • Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience
  • Abhishiktananda: The Further Shore

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