St. John of the Cross (Outstanding Christian Thinkers Series)
Men celebrated by later generations normally achieve fame through their contribution to a particular area of human endeavour. San Juan de la Cruz (1542-91) achieved greatness on two counts; in the realm of spirituality, as a mystic; in literature, as...
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Men celebrated by later generations normally achieve fame through their contribution to a particular area of human endeavour. San Juan de la Cruz (1542-91) achieved greatness on two counts; in the realm of spirituality, as a mystic; in literature, as a poet. He stands at a high peak in the mystical tradition of the Christian west. The Mystical Doctor of The Roman Catholic Church, he is also regarded by many as one of the greatest lyrical poets that Spain has ever produced. To understand and explore his work, both sides of his achievement must be examined. San Juan the man is elusive. But there could scarcely be a stronger contrast than with the lively and forceful personality revealed by the other great representative of sixteenth-century Spanish mysticism St Teresa of Avila. She herself chose San Juan to assist her in the task of reforming the Carmelite order.
Steven Payne shows how the roots of the Western mystical tradition go very deep and the discovery of Dionysius profoundly altered the direction of this tradition. Interest in St John of the Cross is not confined to Roman Catholics.
The best modern biography of St John is by Colin Thompson, a United Reformed Minister. And many outside the Christian tradition are also profoundly influenced by his teaching. Here is as clear an exposition as it is possible to find of the life and teachings of the diminutive Carmelite Friar whose influence has been so very profound.
Steven Payne, OCD, is a priest of the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite friars. He is past editor of Spiritual Life magazine and ICS Publications and the author of numerous works in philosophy of religion, theology, and Carmelite spirituality. He has taught at the Weston School of Theology in Boston, at the De Sales School of Theology and Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., and most recently at Tangaza College and the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the current president of the Carmelite Institute in Washington D.C. He has written widely on St John of the Cross.
- Introduction; The Life; The Mystical Doctrine; The Influence Of St John Of The Cross Today.