Christianity’s earliest mystic

In the new book Paul: Christianity’s Premier Apostolic Mystic (Cascade Books, 2021), Boston College Professor Emeritus of Theology Harvey Egan, S.J., a renowned scholar of Christian mysticism, writes about Saint Paul the Apostle, Christianity’s earliest mystic. Fr. Egan focuses on Paul’s mystical consciousness and mystical life—the explicit and direct consciousness of the immediate and direct presence of the Trinity and/or Jesus-Messiah. It underscores mystical experience not only as discrete, individual experiences but also as experience in the sense that an experienced musician instinctively knows and loves music. From the light issuing from the risen Jesus-Messiah, whom he encountered on the Damascus road, Paul mystically read the Jewish Scriptures and comprehended that God consummated Israel’s history through the sending of Jesus-Messiah and the Holy Spirit. Fr. Egan taught at BC for 40 years. He is the author of several books, including Soundings in the Christian Mystical TraditionKarl Rahner: Mystic of Everyday Life, and Christian Mysticism: The Future of a Tradition, and he produced a multimedia lecture series called “The Christian Mystical Tradition.” He also recently published an article titled “Ignatius, Prayer and the Spiritual Exercises” for The Way, an international journal of contemporary Christian spirituality, published by the British Jesuits.

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