The Roots of Christian Mysticism: First Term


This course is for those who would like to discover the inner depths of the Christian tradition and its mystical dimension. By focusing on key mystics, this course introduces you to the rich stream of Christian mysticism and how it takes shape in different times. It spans 2000 years and is a journey in time – starting with Jesus himself and up to modern times. Please watch the introduction below where Fr Laurence Freeman talks more about The Roots of Christian Mysticism course.



The Roots of Christian Mysticism

The entire course is divided into 3 terms and each term consists of 8 Lessons.  Each lesson focuses on a mystic, and we learn about the times they lived in, their life witness and their spirituality.  Each lesson also has extracts from their writings and inspirations to help us in our spiritual practice.  There is also a bibliography, audio and visual recordings to allow you to explore further. This course is not just an intellectual exercise but a journey from the mind to the heart – a spiritual journey of discovery. So we invite you to meditate at the beginning of each lesson and to experience this contemplative dimension of faith.

This online course is based on the book Journey to the Heart: Christian Contemplation through the Centuries edited by Kim Nataraja. We recommend you use this as your Course Book.

 What is Mysticism? Prof Bernard McGinn

In this talk, Prof Bernard McGinn, the preeminent scholar in the field, gives a panoramic view of the mystical and sets the scene for the course. He explores the nature of mysticism and why Christian mysticism is so important.  What does the word “mysticism” mean? Is it an exclusive state, just for the few or is it for all?  What is a mystic and why are they crucial to humankind? And why does Karl Rahner, a 20th century theologian say “The Christian of the future will either be a mystic or will not be a Christian at all?”


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