In these talks, Bernard McGinn draws on the experience and writings of the Christian mystics who saw the mystical or contemplative practice as crucial to what it means to be human. McGinn describes the mystical element as necessary to a balanced religious personality, integrating with the institutional and intellectual elements but also bringing something to the whole. Beginning with Jesus as the first contemplative, McGinn traces the development of the Christian contemplative tradition as represented by the earliest mystics Origen, Evagrius, John Cassian and Gregory the Great.
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