This course is for those who wish to discover more about the inner and spiritual teachings of Christianity as well as those who seek to make progress on their spiritual journey.
For many centuries Christianity has recognized three primary stages of spiritual development which reach their pinnacle in mysticism. Yet mysticism remains a word that is little understood. The objective of this course is to provide an outline of what Christian mysticism is and the three primary stages of development which precede this pinnacle of spiritual attainment.
As a primary step towards this an examination is made of Evelyn Underhill’s talk ‘What is Mysticism?’ in which she introduces what the nature of mysticism is and what it is not.
This is followed by an overview of what the three stages of the spiritual journey are. It speaks of there being two major conversion experiences on this path; baptism and the Mystical New Birth. This section also introduces a fourth (or what is really the first) stage of the journey, namely that of the natural human state.
By way of example this section also describes spiritual experiences had by Madame Guyon and Saint Catherine of Genoa. It also draws from what Saint Theresa of Avila and Saint Bernard of Clairveaux describe of the state of Mystical Union or Unification.
If you feel that something is missing in your Christian life, if there is something more to discover and experience, then this course is for you. It is for those who are asking questions and looking for answers.
This course is intended to provide an introduction to the deeper teachings of Christian spirituality as well as a foundation which can be built on.
A rich and deeply profound spirituality lies behind the surface teachings of Christianity.
A look at a well-loved hymn which speaks of the spiritual journey.
Welcome to this course and a short story about the course creator.
Part 1 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'1
Comments on Part 1 of 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 2 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Comments on Part 2 of 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 3 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Comments on Part 3 of 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 4 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 5 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 6 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 7 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Comments on Part 7 of 'What is Mysticism?'
Part 8 of Evelyn Underhill's talk 'What is Mysticism?'
Exploring the student's understanding of what mysticism is.
Comments explaining the path of spiritual development from two well recognized authorities.
The stages of spiritual development as they are incorporated into church buildings..
The spirituality depicted on the Great West Front of Bath Abbey.
The spiritual state we are born into and the First Conversion which marls entry into the Faith.
Considering the Way of Purification and its necessities.
Questions relating to the third section of the course
An outline of the Second Conversion or the Mystical New Birth and the Way of Illumination.
The experience of Saint Catherine of Genoa at her awakening to the Way of Illumination.
Madame Guyon describes her Mystical New Birth.
An brief introduction to Unification or Mystical Union and a quotation from St Theresa of Avila on its nature.
A quotation from saint Bernard of Clairveaux on the path of spiritual ascent and on Unification.
Spiritual development is and always has been central to Christianity.
For over forty years Janet has been researching and writing on Christian spirituality and Christian and Jewish mysticism.
* Extracts from her book 'Meditations on the Collects' have been quoted in the Church Times.
* Her biography of the first Jamaican Diocesan bishop. 'Percival Jamaica: His Life and Work' is to be found in the Henry Martyn Library, Cambridge University.
* Articles have been published in the Lay Reader (on the Labyrinth), the journal of the CSWG monastery (A Taste of Kabbalah) and elsewhere.
* Played an instrumental role in the preparation of the first edition of 'A Handbook for Anglicans' which is now widely used by the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
* Janet has guest lectured and given talks on spirituality to both undergraduate and postgraduate students at the United Theological College of the West Indies. She has also given talks to several Church groups...