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Spiritual Direction from the English Mystics: 'The Revelations of Divine Love', by Julian of Norwich 'The Cloud of Unknowing', Anonymous 'Scale of Perfection', Walter Hilton The current popularity enjoyed by these 14th century English mystics lies in their vocation to seek union with God. Here, for the first time, Julia Gatta shows these mystics to be prototypes for the modern spiritual director, displaying keen insights into that pastoral art. At the heart of the mystics' writings is their own intense desire not merely to see and know God for themselves, but also to bring others to this union with God.
Central to the Christian mystical tradition is the inspired work of the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing. Rich with insights and perceptions of the obscurity and “unknowability” of God, this work reveals God as being on an entirely different plane of existence from human beings—so different that time-bound human language is inadequate to describe God exhaustively or accurately. Intellect and emotion both fail in seeking God, who can only be encountered by rejecting all common earthly means in a “cloud of forgetting” and the discovery of Godself in the dark “cloud of unknowing” that can be pierced only with a “lance of longing love.” Now, we finally have a translation that captures all of this beauty and complexity, without minimizing the nuances, all of which are explained with extensive introductions and accompanying notes. "If I could keep with me only two books and a journal, this book would be one of the books. As far as I’m concerned it’s the most important book (and among the most influential) on Christian prayer in the last two millennia. I'm delighted to endorse this fine new translation and commentary.”—The Rev. Dr. Chris Neufeld-Erdman, University Presbyterian Church, Fresno, CA , author of Beyond Chaos: Living the Christian Family in a World Like Ours and Returning to the Center: Living Prayer in a Distracting World "The Complete Cloud of Unknowing includes two classics of medieval Christian contemplative spirituality — essential reading for anyone seeking to deepen their relationship with God through the practice of silent prayer. They are rich texts, full of nuanced wisdom that often gets lost in modern translations. Father John-Julian has captured the beauty, humor and literary elegance of the original versions, but also has supplemented his translation with detailed notes that convey the subtle spiritual insight that makes these works required reading. I'm excited about this book — it's a title I will recommend both to beginners and to longstanding students of The Cloud.” —Carl McColman, author of Answering the Contemplative Call and The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader
This wide-ranging historical survey provides an indispensable resource for those interested in exploring, teaching, or studying English spirituality. In two stand-alone volumes, it traces history from Roman times until the year 2000. The main Christian traditions and a vast range of writers and spiritual themes, from Anglo-Saxon poems to late-modern feminist spirituality, are included. These volumes present the astonishing richness and variety of responses made by English Christians to the call of the divine during the past two thousand years.
Julian of Norwich was a fourteenth-century woman who at the age of thirty had a series of vivid visions centred around the crucified Christ. Twenty years later, while living as an anchoress in a church, she is believed to have set out these visions in a text called the Showing of Love. Going against the current trend to place Julian in the category of mystic - a classification which defines her visions as deeply private, psychological events - this book sets Julian’s thinking in the context of a visionary project used to instruct the Christian community. Drawing on recent developments in philosophy that debate the objectivity and rationality of vision and perception, Kevin J. Magill gives full attention to the depth and richness of the visual language and modes of perception in the Showing of Love. In particular, the book focuses on the ways in which Julian presented her vision to the Christian society around her, demonstrating the educative potential of interaction between the ‘isolated’ anchoress and the wider community. Challenging Julian’s identification as a mystic and solitary female writer, this book argues that Julian engaged in a variety of educative methods – oral, visual, conversational, mnemonic, alliterative – that extend the usefulness of her text.
An introduction to the mystical component of Christianity reveals its ancient traditions of meditation, philosophy, enlightenment and devotion to the blissful experience of a Divine presence, in a volume that combines practical instruction with historical, biographical and biblical information.

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