Mysticism Buddhist and Christian

Encounters With Jan Van Ruusbroec

Jan Van Bragt & Paul Mommaers

New York: Crossroad, 1995.

In 1343, when he was fifty, the priest Jan van Ruusbroec (1293–1381) began a contemplative life with two other Catholic priests in Groenendael, a clearing in the forest a few miles to the south of Brussels. Ruusbroec lived out the rest of his days in prayer and spiritual direction. When he died in 1381 at the age of eighty-eight, he had written eleven of the greatest mystical works in the Christian tradition.

This volume represents the first book-length treatment in English of Ruusbroec. The Flemish historian Paul Mommaers focuses on the delicate relationship between mysticism and religiosity, and between the mysticism of love and the more metaphysical mysticism of unity. The theologian of religions Jan Van Bragt places the problem in an interreligious context by contrasting the spiritual path of Buddhism with that of the Christian mystical way.

Mysticism Buddhist and Christian is not a book to be read with one eye on the television set. Time and patience are required. This is a serious work of scholarship and commitment to interreligious dialogue; those who work through it will find theirefforts repaid in full.

Lawrence S. Cunningham