Introduction to Christian Mysticism

Podcast-style audio & video course - 12 Topics
Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
Boston College
(4 customer reviews)
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Includes Free Study Guide

Introduction to Christian Mysticism

Podcast-style audio & video course - 12 Topics
Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
Boston College
(4 customer reviews)
Includes Free Study Guide
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Sample:


Join one of the world’s leading experts on Christian mysticism in his masterpiece audio course. These 12 inspiring audio lectures will captivate your mind and stir your spirit.

The mystics show us the deepest recesses of the human spirit. Now, this remarkable series gives you the rare opportunity to take one of the world’s leading experts on mysticism as your personal guide. Boston College’s Fr. Harvey Egan draws on 50 years of teaching the Christian mystics. Brilliantly taught, his lectures are filled with faithful insights.

Under his guidance, you will explore the mystical life by focusing upon 11 significant figures. You will begin with Ignatius of Loyola and his finding of God in all things before looking at the “apophatic” mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing. Next, you will explore the classical mysticisms of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Catherine of Siena, whom many consider to be the apex of the mystical tradition. You will also encounter the visionary mysticism of Julian of Norwich.

You will discover the captivating mysticism of Francis de Sales, Angela of Foligno, an

Join one of the world’s leading experts on Christian mysticism in his masterpiece audio course. These 12 inspiring audio lectures will captivate your mind and stir your spirit.

The mystics show us the deepest recesses of the human spirit. Now, this remarkable series gives you the rare opportunity to take one of the world’s leading experts on mysticism as your personal guide. Boston College’s Fr. Harvey Egan draws on 50 years of teaching the Christian mystics. Brilliantly taught, his lectures are filled with faithful insights.

Under his guidance, you will explore the mystical life by focusing upon 11 significant figures. You will begin with Ignatius of Loyola and his finding of God in all things before looking at the “apophatic” mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing. Next, you will explore the classical mysticisms of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Catherine of Siena, whom many consider to be the apex of the mystical tradition. You will also encounter the visionary mysticism of Julian of Norwich.

You will discover the captivating mysticism of Francis de Sales, Angela of Foligno, and Karl Rahner. Finally, after considering Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s cosmic mysticism, you will be moved by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Let the great mystics of our tradition speak to you today.

This course is part of the Learn25 collection and includes a PDF study guide.

This course was previously published as The Christian Mystical Tradition

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Fr. Harvey D. Egan, S.J., D.Theol., is a leading expert on Christian mysticism and the thought of Karl Rahner. He is Emeritus Professor of Systematic and Mystical Theology at Boston College, where he taught for forty years. He previously taught at the College of the Holy Cross and Santa Clara University. Fr. Egan received his doctorate of theology under the direction of Karl Rahner from Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany, and he is the recipient of the Robert H. Goddard Distinguished Alumni Award from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

He is the author of several books, including Soundings in the Christian Mystical Tradition (Liturgical Press, 2010), Karl Rahner: Mystic of Everyday Life (Crossroad, 1998), An Anthology of Christian Mysticism (Liturgical Press, 1991), and Christian Mysticism: The Future of a Tradition (Pueblo Publishing, 1984). Fr. Egan has also translated many writings by Karl Rahner, and he has published numerous articles in scholarly journals and entries in anthologies.

Praise for Fr. Harvey Egan

“Ninety years ago Albert Schweitzer recognized that Paul was the first Christian mystic. Now, Harvey Egan has expanded and deepened the picture of Paul the mystic in this new and penetrating series, investigating the apostolic, Christological, Trinitarian, and ecclesiological dimensions of the mysticism of the Apostle to the Gentiles. All subsequent Christian mystics read and cited Paul, but Egan’s work shows how much Pauline themes were, indeed, foundational for later Christian mysticism. By considering Paul’s relation both to previous Jewish traditions, as well as to subsequent Christian history, Egan’s incisive work casts light both on the origins and the later story of Christian mysticism. A ground-breaking series for Biblical scholars, as well as for students of mysticism.”
—Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago

“Harvey D. Egan, S.J., brings years of study and writing on the Christian mystical tradition to this rich exploration of one of the foundational sources of that tradition: Paul, Apostle and Mystic. Though rooted in the faith of Israel, Paul’s mysticism is his transformative consciousness of the fulfillment of God’s salvific plan in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. Paul’s mystical consciousness animated his apostolic conviction that fulfillment in Christ is Good News not only for Israel, but for all peoples, indeed for the whole of creation.”
—Robert P. Imbelli, author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination

“Father Harvey Egan is a former doctoral student of Karl Rahner, an expert in Christian mysticism, and is adept in New Testament scholarship. After reading all of his books and many of his articles over the last thirty-five years, I can vouch that in this vibrant and insightful lecture series he will be the best guide for those desirous of understanding St. Paul’s mystical consciousness as well as the real nature of Christian mysticism.”
—Louis Roy, OP, Dominican University College in Ottawa

“Harvey Egan has been engaged with Christian mystical traditions for much of his scholarly life. He now brings his careful scholarship and vast knowledge to a surprisingly neglected field–the mystical consciousness of the Apostle Paul recorded in his letters. Professor Egan is uniquely able to assess and interpret Paul’s enigmatic references to his mystical experience and to show its relevance for Christians today.
—Richard Clifford, SJ, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

“I loved this series both for its emphasis on the experience Paul had on the road to Damascus as well as his urgent drive to preach the real truth that Jesus is the Risen Lord. The listener will enjoy a double gift: a solid understanding of Christian mysticism flowing from trinitarian mystery and Paul’s expression of that mystery in the corpus he left to the church. I highly recommend this series, which is the fruit of fifty years study and prayer.”
—Lawrence S. Cunningham, The University of Notre Dame

“Through keen insights into the profound mystical transformation which incorporation into Christ and his mystical body brings, Father Egan is able to explore and unveil the mystical dimensions, primarily, of St. Paul and of St. Ignatius of Loyola, perhaps the two paradigmatic mystics in action, along with some others, each reflecting and lighting up the others. A welcome, challenging, even provocative, study!”
—William Thompson-Uberuaga, emeritus professor of theology, Duquesne University

“I can think of no better guide to the Christian mystical tradition than Fr. Harvey Egan, S.J. Learned, prayerful, articulate, inviting and always accessible, he is among the best of teachers.”– Rev. James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage“Reading, and better still, praying with Karl Rahner’s prayers is perhaps the best way to understand him. Let Fr. Harvey Egan, a master not only of Fr. Rahner’s spirituality but also of spirituality itself, take you to this center of his life and theology and then on to its wonderful whole wide range.”– Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., President Emeritus, Georgetown University“Harvey Egan’s vast knowledge of the Christian mystical tradition is impressive. Few scholars have matched the clarity of the way he introduces persons and highlights what is important in their writings. His assessments of mystics’ views are always both sympathetic to them and judiciously critical of them. A great guide!”
– Louis Roy, O.P., Dominican University College, Ottawa

“Father Harvey J. Egan, S.J., is one of the premier interpreters of the mystical tradition on the current scene. Well-known for his many insightful studies of the mysticism of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Egan has also written on the broad history of Christian mysticism, including his impressive Anthology of Christian Mysticism.”
– Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago

“There is no surer guide to Rahner the mystic than Egan. Since his definitive The Spiritual Exercises and the Ignatian Mystical Horizon (1976), to which Rahner contributed the Foreword, he has kept flowing a steady stream of impressive original works and wonderful translations of Rahneriana.”
– Andrew Tallon, Marquette University

“Father Harvey Egan studied under Karl Rahner and is a world-renowned expert in Rahner’s theology. But what is most exciting about Egan’s approach is to reveal the mystical heart of Rahner’s thought. He makes clear that for Rahner theology and spirituality are inseparable and nourish one another.”
– Rev. Robert Imbelli, Boston College

“Harvey Egan has a profound knowledge of both Karl Rahner’s theology and the Christian mystical tradition, particularly as expressed in the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola. As such, Egan is that rare scholar who brings a critically important third dimension to his exposition of Rahner’s thought: depth, clarity, coherence, integrity.”
– David G. Schultenover, S.J., Marquette University

“Having spent decades intensively studying and writing on the thought of his teacher Karl Rahner, Fr. Harvey D. Egan, S.J., has acquired a deep appreciation of Rahner’s theology, including his philosophy and spirituality, thus acquiring a perhaps unique competence to present it understandably and empathetically to an interested contemporary listener.”
– William J. Hoye

  • Introduction
  • Ignatius of Loyola
  • The Anonymous Author of The Cloud of Unknowing
  • Teresa of Ávila
  • John of the Cross
  • Julian of Norwich
  • Angela of Foligno
  • Francis de Sales
  • Catherine of Siena
  • Karl Rahner
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  • Mother Teresa

4 reviews for Introduction to Christian Mysticism

  1. Gary F. Alberta Canada

    Fall Survey: October 2016

    A very clear, balanced, expert presentation of a fascinating and edyfing topic. Covers a broad range of impressive personalities.

  2. Sister Joan D., CA

    Summer Survey: July 2017

    I like the mystics the professor talked about… He was from Boston college and a good presenter but not much affectivity..esp I liked the women mystics. I learned a lot.

  3. William E., IA

    Summer Survey: July 2017

    The teacher has a somewhat limited perspective.

  4. John V., British Columbia, Canada

    Summer 2018 Survey

    Having grown up in the Protestant Tradition where the ‘mystical’ is not high on the priority list, I was introduced to Franciscan Spirituality through contact with Father Richard Rohr. The Christian Mystical Tradition proved the ideal overview introduction to what has now become a personal exploration of the Franciscan Alternate Orthodoxy.

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