A distinctive feature of Western religous life in recent years has been the rediscovery of the contemplative tradition in Christianity. Within the Christian mystical tradition, England holds a unique place, with a number of major figures from the Middle Ages and later whose writings have fascinated generations of readers. This book presents seven of them, five from the medieval period, the golden age of English mysticism - Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, the author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kempe; and two from later centuries - William Law and George Herbert. Each chapter consists of an introductory essay on the life and writings of each individual, followed by carefully chosen extracts from their writings. Those from the medieval period are in fresh new translations. All these writers see the spiritual life as an ongoing process, a pilgrimage. This inner pigrimage requires no outer excursions, but throughout the ages spiritual pilgrims have undertaken physical pilgrimages as well. One aim of this book is to encourage its readers to continue this tradition by visiting sites from which the writings arose. So each chapter is provided with a map of the area of immediate interest and a drawing of the place most associated with each figure, and the introductory essays contain practical information about how to get there. No other anthology of mystical and spiritual writings describes the lives and locations of these individuals in this way. Gordon L. Miller, Ph.D., is a writer and historian living near Seattle, Washington. He attended Milligan College and Christian Theological Seminary. This book developed from a period of post-graduate study at Cambridge University , when he visited the sites described in the book, a journey which, he says, "made the historical grounding of the English mystical tradition much more real to me". He is also the author of Wisdom of the Earth: Visions of an Ecological Faith.
Way of The English Mystics