The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, translated by Mirabai Starr. An excellent translation of the spiritual classic that assists the modern reader to access and make relevant the insights from the 16th century Spanish mystic and teacher.
Why Not Become Fire? Encounters with Women Mystics by Evelyn Mattern and Helen David Brancato. A survey of two dozen diverse women mystics through the centuries including Julian of Norwich, Sojourner Truth, and Dorothy Day. Mattern’s book challenges the reader to consider for themselves, “why not become fire?”
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. The author’s seminal work first published in 1949 compares the historical roots of Jesus as a poor Jewish man bearing authentic witness to God in the binds of the Roman empire with that of Negro standing up for his rights to dignity and full citizenship in segregated and racist United States. It appeared on the cusp of the civil rights movement that followed and was often carried in the pockets of leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesse Jackson.
Meditations of the Heart by Howard Thurman. A series of short reflections that Thurman developed for the congregants of The Church of the Fellowship of All Peoples, a worshipping community in San Francisco. Thurman introduced times of quiet meditation and silent reflection during the services and wrote these meditations to assist members to reflect on the riches of their inner lives and connections to all living things.
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams. The book documents the many conversations occurring during an historic weeklong meeting between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu on the occasion of the Archbishop’s 80th birthday. Mixing both riotous humor and poignant stories, the two offer the reader an opportunity to hear from two world leaders who have influenced millions. The book also offers an appendix of joy practices from the Buddhist and Christian tradition in a easy to follow format.
Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church by Barbara Holmes. Holmes details the ways in which contemplative experience is built into contemporary African American collective worship as well as explores the legacy of African monasticism, a history of spiritual exemplars, spiritual and political activism, and unique meditative worship practices.
Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by John Philip Newell. Newell traces the lines of Celtic spirituality from the British church in the 4th century through the 20th century with the restoration of Iona led by George McLeod. Newell distinguishes Celtic spirituality as more experientially based with a horizontal structuring aligned with the disciple John from the more credal, hierarchical structure of Roman christianity that evolved and was more identified with the disciple Peter.