The mystics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were, writes Karen Armstrong, like "the astronauts of our own day. They broke into a new religion, blazed a new trail to God and to the depths of the self, a trail far from the beaten pilgrimage paths of Chaucer and Langland." Mysticism is a spiritual mystery shared in some form by all faiths; it has a supernatural quality that extends beyond the given boundaries of religious creed and may be experienced by any lay person. The thrilling intensity of a mystical experience, as represented in this volume by the writings of four mystics of the Middle Ages, can inspire other spiritual seekers with its insight into the limitless wonder of both human and divine experience. Dissatisfied by the strictures of dogma and a religion that failed to quench the human thirst for knowledge of a mystical order, these four mystics--Richard Rolle of Hampole, Walter Hilton, Dame Julian of Norwich, and the unknown author of The Cloud Of Unknowing --communicate an intense and passionate experience of faith rare in any time. Because of their unique beliefs and spiritual strength, their knowledge and writings have proved timeless, and in this beautiful volume show contemporary seekers important new insights into the nature of divine love.
"Witty, informative, and contemplative; Ms. Armstrong can simplify complex ideas, but she is never simplistic."--The New York Times Book Review.
"Provocative...Karen Armstrong has strong ecumenical credentials. One of the delights of her book is her exploration of some relatively unfamiliar pathways to God."--Time.