I was the only woman in a seminary course on negative theology. One day, a young man raised his hand and asked, “What about an ordinary housewife? How could a person like that live this life of prayer?”
The reading from Isaiah reminds us that the world is a turbulent and unsettling place. Even Isaiah is not immune; his time was one of great national grief and uncertainty, and he retreats to the temple to try and recover a sense of perspective and peace of mind.
Feminism and mysticism have always held a wary view of each other: feminists borrowed from Marx the belief that spirituality functions as a narcotic that anesthetizes the pain of oppression rather than harnessing it to fuel the engine of social change; religious leaders feared that committed social activists would lose their souls
To think that that mystics are engaged in a series of private, transcendent encounters with God betrays a superficial understanding, says Bernard McGinn. Christian mystics, in particular, are not breakaway contemplatives who find their own way toGod.
With books like Blessed Rage for Order (1975) and The Analogical Imagination (1981), David Tracy became widely recognized as an important revisionist theologian—one who revised Christian categories in view of modern categories of thought.
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.