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'But if you wish to know how these things come about ask grace not instruction, desire not understanding, the groaning of prayer not diligent reading, the Spouse not the teacher, God not man, darkness not clarity, not light but the fire that totally enflames and carries us into God by ecstatic unctions and burning affections. This fire is God and his furnace is in Jerusalem...' --Bonaventure, 1217-1274
You don't have to believe in God in order to experience God. --- Deepak Chopra The celebrated author of Ageless Body, Timeless Mind and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success has written his most ambitious and important work yet, a runaway international bestseller that has inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to rethink their concept of God. According to Chopra, the brain is hardwired to know God. The human nervous system has seven biological responses that correspond to seven levels of divine experience. These are shaped not by any one religion (they are shared by all faiths), but by the brain's need to take an infinite, chaotic universe and find meaning in it. How to Know God describes the quest each of us is on, whether we realize it or not. For, as Chopra puts it, "God is our highest instinct to know ourselves." This book makes a dramatic and enduring contribution to that knowledge.
Chopra, the celebrated author of "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind" and "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" has written his most ambitious and important work yet. According to the author, the brain is hardwired to know God, for, as Chopra puts it, God is our highest instinct to know ourselves.
In The Soul's Journey Alan Jones explores the three universal spiritual passages of human life by drawing insights from the timeless allegorical truths of Dante's Divine Comedy. He gently but persistently guides us through Dante's descent into hell, his climb through purgatory, and his ascent into heaven, thus illustrating the three stages of spiritual growth: a healthy soul, a healed community, and a recovered vision of God. Jones is a profoundly clear spiritual companion for all who feel they have lost their way and have embarked on the journey of finding their life's "right" path.
In this remarkable book, Shulamit Elson writes with eloquence and authority about our soul's journey, our place in the universe, and our relationship to God through prayer. In beautiful and simple words, she shares the ancient teachings and the sacred sounds of the Kabbalah.With the help of her 'Maggid', a traditional Kabbalistic 'answering angel', Elson developed a series of meditative 'Sound Prayers', using sacred sounds made with the voice. She explains the theological, cosmology and esoteric foundations upon which 'Sound Prayer' is based. This is a practical book that gives individual exercises as well as offering help on meeting specific challenges, including spiritual struggles, feelings of meaninglessness, and harsh self-judgement, as well as illness, fear, and anxiety.
St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio's The Soul's Journey into God is a masterpiece of thirteenth-century Scholasticism. Unfortunately no comprehensive analysis of Bonaventure's seminal treatise exists that is accessible to contemporary audiences. Reinvigorating the medieval tradition of critical commentary for the twenty-first century, this book introduces readers to basic Scholastic concepts and arguments by expounding and evaluating Bonaventure's speculative system. Dillard also highlights the relevance of Bonaventure's thought for contemporary philosophical theology.
The Hackett edition of this classic of medieval philosophy and mysticism--a plan of pilgrimage for the learned Franciscan wishing to reach the apex of the mystical experience--combines the highly regarded Boehner translation with a new introduction by Stephen Brown focusing on St. Francis as a model of the contemplative life, the meaning of the Itinerarium, its place in Bonaventure's mystical theology, and the plan of the work. Boehner's Latin Notes, as well as Latin texts from other works of Bonaventure included in the Franciscan Institute Edition, are rendered here in English, making this the edition of choice for the beginning student.
Nine Jewels of Night is a profoundly moving personal account of theologian and spiritual teacher Beverly Lanzetta's search for a new expression of the eternal quest for truth. With open-hearted storytelling, she chronicles her growing restlessness to answer a spiritual call until on a gorgeous autumn day, in her twenty-ninth year, she is converted by a series of revelations beyond the boundaries of established religions to the one reality at the heart of all religions, and to an entirely singular path of contemplation. Lanzetta's compelling and intimate portrayal of the ensuing thirty-eight years invites you to reflect on your own spiritual path as it gently draws you into questions about the nature of God, the monastic heart, suffering, the inner dimensions of mystical experience, composing a contemplative life, following a radical path of devotion, the search for solitude, trusting one's inner voice, loving the Divine, and being empty of self.
Using primary texts, this volume tells the story of Western religious heritage by tracing the three great Western monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) from the fall of Rome through the Christian Reformation of the sixteenth century.
Deepak Chopra has written his most ambitious and important work yet -- an exploration of the idea that everyone can have the direct experience of divinity. According to Chopra, the brain is hardwired to know God. The human nervous system has seven biological responses that correspond to seven levels of divine experience. These are shaped not by any one religion, but by the brain's need to take an infinite, chaotic universe and find meaning in it. As we make sense of the swirling "quantum soup", we inevitably find the face of God. In this remarkable book Chopra shows us how. How to Know God is Chopra's writing at its very best, an internationally celebrated blend of philosophy and science applied to the greatest subject of all. This is what each of us quests for, whether we realize it or not. For, as Chopra writes, "God is our highest instinct to know ourselves".
Explores the extensive landscape of angels in medieval Christian devotion and retrieves a very rich vein in the Christian spiritual tradition.
The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology provides a guide to the mystical element of Christianity as a theological phenomenon. It differs not only from psychological and anthropological studies of mysticism, but from other theological studies, such as more practical or pastorally-oriented works that examine the patterns of spiritual progress and offer counsel for deeper understanding and spiritual development. It also differs from more explicitly historical studies tracing the theological and philosophical contexts and ideas of various key figures and schools, as well as from literary studies of the linguistic tropes and expressive forms in mystical texts. None of these perspectives is absent, but the method here is more deliberately theological, working from within the fundamental interests of Christian mystical writers to the articulation of those interests in distinctively theological forms, in order, finally, to permit a critical theological engagement with them for today. Divided into four parts, the first section introduces the approach to mystical theology and offers a historical overview. Part two attends to the concrete context of sources and practices of mystical theology. Part three moves to the fundamental conceptualities of mystical thought. The final section ends with the central contributions of mystical teaching to theology and metaphysics. Students and scholars with a variety of interests will find different pathways through the Handbook.
Journey Back to God explores Origen of Alexandria's creative, complex, and controversial treatment of the problem of evil. It argues that his layered cosmology functions as a theodicy that deciphers deeper meaning beneath cosmic disparity. Origen asks: why does God create a world where some suffer more than others? On the surface, the unfair arrangement of the world defies theological coherence. In order to defend divine justice against the charge of cosmic mismanagement, Origen develops a theological cosmology that explains the ontological status and origin of evil as well as its cosmic implications. Origen's theodicy hinges on the journey of the soul back to God. Its themes correlate with the soul's creation, fall and descent into materiality, gradual purification, and eventual divinization. The world, for Origen, functions as a school and hospital for the soul where it undergoes the necessary education and purgation. Origen carefully calibrates his cosmology and theology. He portrays God as a compassionate and judicious teacher, physician, and father who employs suffering for our amelioration. Journey Back to God frames the systematic study of Origen's theodicy within a broader theory of theodicy as navigation, which signifies the dynamic process whereby we impute meaning to suffering. It unites the logical and spiritual facets of his theodicy, and situates it in its third-century historical, theological, and philosophical context, correcting the distortions that continue to plague Origen scholarship. Furthermore, the study clarifies his ambiguous position on universalism within the context of his eschatology. Finally, it assesses the cogency and contemporary relevance of Origen's theodicy, highlighting the problems and prospects of his bold, constructive, and optimistic vision.
“Simply Bonaventure may very well become the standard English introduction to Bonaventure’s thought for college and graduate school teachers and students.” Joseph P. Chinnici, OFM Professor of Church History Franciscan School of Theology Graduate Theological Union Berkeley, California. Simply Bonaventure provides an introduction to the life, thought and writings of the medieval Franciscan, Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. The majority of the work is devoted to Bonaventure’s theology, which is summarized according to his own metaphysical scheme of origin (God), purpose (creation), and destiny (goal of creation). His trinitarian, Christocentric theology is highly relevant to a global world and to the postmodern Christian experience. Sr. Delio’s work is the first to provide a comprehensive view of Bonaventure’s theology, together with an introduction to his life and writings, and to place his theology in dialogue with contemporary human experience. “With this book Ilia Delio has provided a long needed introduction to Bonaventure’s thought. But she has done more than merely open the door to Bonaventure’s world. Because of the depth of her own mature scholarly and spiritual insight, her book can enrich not only beginners but seasoned Bonaventure scholars as well.” Ewert Cousins Editor and Translator of the Bonaventure volume in The Classics of Western Spirituality “Ilia Delio's work combines the adroit use of primary sources, the best of critical commentaries on Bonaventure's thought, and contemporary questions to take the reader on an exciting journey into the heart of one of the medieval period's most dynamic Franciscan thinkers.” Joseph P. Chinnici, O.F.M. “This fine book is deeply rooted in the very best scholarship yet presented in a gentle spirit and un-intimidating style. Those who study it carefully will gain not only a renewed appreciation of a truly great theologian and saint, but also an admiration for the loving way in which Delio has treated his spiritual vision. I strongly recommend this work to anyone interested in the very best spiritual writing.” John F. Haught Professor of Theology Georgetown University
If you hunger for something, but do not know what it is, this journey of science and spirit may be the most fulfilling and exciting one that you will ever take. Its the true story of Judith Pennington, a busy writer, peace group director and single mother who, at age 38, denies the existence of God, yet finds herself in a fascinating search for the identity of a voice giving the wisest, most sensible guidance shes ever heard. Who or what is the source of the lyrical "writings" that guide her out of darkness into light over a period of twelve years? Finding out takes Pennington into the depths of her own psyche and on life-changing journeys in Medjugorje, Findhorn and the Scottish isle of Iona. In this adventure of consciousness, the author walks in the light of the psychic, and, in these expanded senses, reaches her destiny, higher perspectives and the blossoming of her unique gifts and talents. This is the universal path promised to one and all by The Voice of the Soul, a personal journey through the self, inspired writing, the secrets of the soul, and the science of spirituality, meditation and God.
Lumpkin teaches readers to endure life's sorrow and tribulations, and to patiently wait to be guided out of the darkness by God's love.
Spirituality is universal as is the desire to manifest our life's intentions.Souldramai is a an action method for spiritual growth and discovery. The process leads one through six stages of spiritual development aligning the ego and soul enabling one to recognize and move on to their higher purpose therefore creating the life that is desired. By doing this, the soul becomes a co-creator in a person's life-and this is the soul's mission: co-creation. Souldrama incorporates the new concept of spiritual intelligence, using this action method to heal relationships and addictions.
The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence houses an extraordinary manuscript: an anthology of devotional texts and images called the Supplicationes variae, dated 1293 and made for use in Genoa, that ends with a remarkable series of full-page illustrations. Although the Supplicationes does not include or illustrate Bonaventure's seminal text, The Soul's Journey into God, the manuscript is effectively the site for performance of a spiritual pilgrimage, for it is through the Franciscan theologian's mystical and poetic concepts that the deeper meanings of its images can be discerned. The decorative program of the Supplicationes mirrors Bonaventure's theology of Christ as Center. Circular in composition, the introductory drawing of the Dextera dei visualizes the book's underlying thematics of the center, while at the manuscript's actual midpoint, Christ is pictured as the Man of Sorrows, who conjoins opposites, human suffering and divine glory. Yet the manuscript is also a progressive journey of ascent. In the Supplicationes, as in Bonaventure's influential book, the path to salvation begins in the world, where humankind has fallen away from God. In its Labors of the Months and marginal drolleries, the manuscript's calendar gives unusual emphasis to the hard work, ignorance, sin, and distance from God that are part of earthly existence. But there is hope: even imperfect human nature innately reaches upwards, craving relief from misery. God answers human neediness, Bonaventure writes, with the gift of prayer, and the Supplicationes pictures this gift in an unusual miniature depicting Trinitarian grace descending on David in prayer. David becomes a model for the reader's subsequent journey through the manuscript's progressively higher levels of prayer, from the vocal prayers of psalms and offices to the contemplative prayer of reading. But it is especially remarkable that in this Franciscan book the highest level of prayer consists in contemplating images. In the sequence of tinted drawings that closes the book, text yields to image, as the reader-viewer performs a non-verbal, experiential imitatio Christi, perusing the thirty-three illustrations of Christ's life as if following the number of years of his life, and passing through Christ's humanity to salvation.
Like medieval maps with their intricate illustrations, unusual proportions, and omission of seemingly crucial details, medieval works of theology were designed to provide not an objective “lay of the land” for disinterested study but an itinerary for individuals “traveling” a specific route. To read was to be taken by the hand and to join fellow travelers on a journey of participation — and ultimately union — with God. In Candler introduces us to fertile medieval texts such as the Confessions of Augustine, the Glossa Ordinaria on the Bible, and the Summa Theologiae of Aquinas. At the same time he argues that modern thought has displaced their “grammar of participation” with a dualistic “grammar of representation” that determines our most taken-for-granted attitudes toward memory and learning. Offering a striking contrast to such attitudes, Candler’s opens the way to a more holistic account of reading, knowledge, and theology.

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