Spiritual Formation: A History of Mysticism

By Donald Keith Gates and Peter Steane.

Published by Religion in Society, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Electronic $US15.00
Book: Print $US40.00

Spiritual Formation: A History of Mysticism portrays a spiritual pilgrimage. It is a journey we take in our faith lives. Mystical experiences from the Old and New Testaments are described as are the revelations of early church leaders, from Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, to later European mystics and Saints such as John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.

The eighteenth-century Enlightenment saw mystics, such as John and Charles Wesley, emphasize a “social holiness” evidenced in social action, such as Wilberforce’s Anti Slavery Crusade. This emphasis on practical holiness continued with William and Catherine Booth’s founding of The Salvation Army, which is typically Wesleyan in its understanding of holiness-in-action, and aligned with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Natural Evolutionary Theology.

The authors argue that spiritual leaders, poets, and musicians satisfy Matthew Fox’s definition of a mystic as holding a “vital belief in a transcendent reality … as they can communicate with that reality by direct experience”. This book provides a framework for ministry, social justice action, and policy with practical disciplines for the spiritual journey.

Book: Electronic (PDF File; 4.357MB). Book: Print (Paperback). Published by Religion in Society, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing.

Dr. Donald Keith Gates

Retired, Officer, Salvation Army, Sydney, Australia

Dr. Donald Gates is a retired Salvation Army officer with fifty-four years of service. He has had appointments in education, management, ministry, and social service, including nine years in Papua New Guinea. Dr. Gates possesses degrees in economics, social science, and education and a doctoral degree in values in policy formation. He continues to research values in social and economic policy and spiritual ministry.

Dr. Peter Steane

Catholic Priest, Professor of Management, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Peter Steane is a Catholic priest with three decades experience in education, formation, and leadership development. He is currently a professor of management at Australian Catholic University and continues to research and teach ethical leadership, strategic thinking, and organisational renewal.