Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness - Evelyn Underhill, is a must read for any serious student of Christian mysticism. Includes the History of European Mysticism from the beginning of the Christian era to the death of Blake.
Written in 1911, 100 years later, still "THE ESSENTIAL BOOK" on mysticism
The book neatly divides into two halves: the first examines mysticism from theological, psychological, and philosophical perspectives; the second takes the reader on a tour of the process of mystical growth over the lifespan, looking at such key life passages and transitions as conversion, self-purification, illumination, the "dark night," and union.
This is also a wonderful work for understanding the spiritual experiences of the great mystic saints. This classic text explores the common features that tie together the religious lives of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Francis of Sales, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of Ruysbroeck, and others. She explores the core nature of the mystical experience both theologically and psychologically. Underhill is brilliant in her discourse on the mystic way. Her theology is impeccable.
This is a timeless work well worth the price for any student of religion and mystical thought.
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