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The Mystics


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About the Author

William Harmless, S.J., is Professor of Theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He has been a member of the Society of Jesus since 1978 and specializes in the history and theology of early Christianity. He is the author of Augustine and the Catechumenate and Desert Christians: An Introduction to the Literature of Early Monasticism.


"In an era of growing interest in mysticism the need for introductions that are clear and accessible without sacrificing scholarly rigor and depth of understanding is great. Few books meet this exacting standard, but William Harmless's Mystics proves that the balance between outreach and analysis is not an impossible task. Harmless's Mystics, based on years of classroom experience in teaching mysticism, is a model for a concise and thoughtful approach to this intriguing, but difficult, topic. It will be necessary reading for all those who wish to explore the message of the mystics." --Bernard McGinn, Emeritus Professor at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and author of The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism "Harmless has provided a deep and readable history and commentary on the mystics he has chosen. His judicious selection ofpersons and texts, joined by his insightful discussions, make for a text indispensable to any graduate course on the history of spirituality."--Religion "Developed for classroom use (where it would likely be the highlight of the course), Harmless's book deserves readership by anyone seeking entry into a study of mystics and why they matter." --Theological Studies "Mystics is firmly rooted in the best scholarship, but it is also pitched low enough for readers new to the subject. Teachers will find that it makes an excellent itnroductory text. Perhaps the highest recommendation I can give this book is to say that I intend to assign it to my own students." --Commonweal "This book opens up a new area of study for specialists in the history and language of the Nordic countries, offering a tantalizing range of insights that invite further investigation." --peculum "Harmless does not just inform, he also provokes; each chapter comes across like a well-organized lecture in which the teacher wants students to wrestle with the material themselves and come up with their own questions and answers. excellent introduction for anyone new to this complex topic...Highly recommended." --Choice

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