Christ Who Lives in Me: Mysticism, Feminism, and Ordinary Life

“…its eurocentric, elitist, and sexist connotations and reclaim it as a liberating and life-affirming possibility for Christians in North America today? ”

Team Members/Contributors

Andrew L Prevot Boston College Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

The idea of Christian mysticism may immediately call to mind reports of bizarre psychospiritual phenomena from late medieval Europe. It may strike one as a disembodied, esoteric distortion of Christian spirituality or as a strange type of private experience that has very little bearing on the public life of the church. Its often annihilative and nuptial imagery may seem to disregard the dignity of ordinary human life and to reinforce an oppressive gendered essentialism. These are just some of the many reasons that a theologian in North America might avoid or critique the idea of Christian mysticism. Nonetheless, Paul’s claim that “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) continues to announce God’s desire and decision to be united with human beings in this very life. A better theological understanding of Christian mysticism would enable one to recognize union with God in transformative North American Christians such as Henriette Delille, Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day and in the daily existence of many women and men who struggle to live by the grace of God in North America’s highly secularized and sexist culture. This project clarifies the theoretical bases for such a liberative and constructive understanding of Christian mysticism.