At Half-Price Books last Saturday I hesitated over a large paperback somewhat the worse for wear. $16 is not a lot if you are glad you got the book, or if you know it is useful and it will prove helpful in the long run. I hesitated over this anthology because I want to own all the works of Christian Mysticism. If you buy them individually they are likely to come with lengthy introductions and perhaps other essays or inclusions to make the heart rejoice.
The thing about this one, though, is that it includes almost 60 authors, with brief introductions and highly characteristic selections. I got it with some misgivings.
I usually don’t read the books I buy right away. Sometimes I do, but usually they get put aside for a while before I can get around to them. To think I used to go to the libraries all the time to get stuff to read!
So I started looking at Harvey Egan’s anthology and found the introductory essay very satisfying. He says all the right things about mysticism and deals with all the common misunderstandings. I’m going to read the whole thing.
I’d like to find if Egan is still teaching and see if there would be a possibility of doing studies in that direction. He studied with Rahner because at the time Rahner was one of the few people interested in mysticism as a source for theology. He classifies Rahner along with Merton and Meister Ekhart as mystical theologians but not mystics. I think that is how Tozer would be classified.
If I could study with a person like Egan, besides the abiding interest, I’d like to do it to form my judgment and have a better understanding of how to group and distinguish the varieties, especially among the less accepted ones like the Quietists. I wonder if my background of studying fundamentalism would help to get me into a place where I could contribute toward fitting people like A.B. Simpson and Tozer in with present state of this branch of learning.