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The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism
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Book description

The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism is a multi-authored interdisciplinary guide to the study of Christian mysticism, with an emphasis on the third through the seventeenth centuries. The book is thematically organized in terms of the central contexts, practices and concepts associated with the mystical life in early, medieval and early modern Christianity. This book looks beyond the term 'mysticism', which was an early modern invention, to explore the ways in which the ancient terms 'mystic' and 'mystical' were used in the Christian tradition: what kinds of practices, modes of life and experiences were described as 'mystical'? What understanding of Christianity and of the life of Christian perfection is articulated through mystical interpretations of scripture, mystical contemplation, mystical vision, mystical theology or mystical union? This volume both provides a clear introduction to the Christian mystical life and articulates a bold new approach to the study of mysticism.


Advanced Praise: “A far-ranging collection of essays by leading scholars in the field, particularly appealing for its attention to definitions and aspects of current scholarly interest. A Companion that goes far to take the mystification out of Christian mysticism.”– Robert E. Lerner, Northwestern University

“With its comprehensive choice of topics and its historical scope, this superb volume is much more than a handbook. It is a place where Christian mysticism will be rediscovered through the multiple voices that are collected here. All of them are acute in the analyses of key terms, concepts, and historical developments – and all of them stimulate further conversation about these essential topics in intellectual and cultural history.” – Niklaus Largier, University of California at Berkeley

“A brilliant array of scholars addresses the complex and varied phenomena gathered under the rubric ‘Christian mysticism.’ Both insisting that historical specificity matters and situating these ancient, medieval, and early modern texts in twenty-first- century conversations, this volume truly and profoundly demonstrates what editor Amy Hollywood asserts: the study of mysticism is indeed ‘endless.’” – Carolyn Dinshaw, New York University

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