Evelyn Underhill and the “Mysticism of Ordinary Life”
Deborah Smith Douglas
Saturday, June 16, 2018, 9:30-3:30
Nourse Hall, St. Albans Parish*
Next door to the Washington National Cathedral
3001 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20016
*Please note change of venue
Please bring a sack lunch
Registration opens: May 1, 2018
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Evelyn Underhill has long been recognized as a pioneer in the retreat movement in the Church of England, and as a highly regarded spiritual director and writer. The author of more than twenty-five books, she was the English language’s most widely read writer on prayer, contemplation, spirituality, worship and mysticism in the first half of the 20th century.
That is the outward, public face of her life and work.
What we will be exploring in this quiet day is the more private aspect of her faith journey—the remarkable way her own spiritual growth, lived out in the context of her “ordinary life,” followed the pattern of the mystic’s development outlined in her most famous scholarly work Mysticism: the soul’s movement from restless surface to quiet depth, to re-emerge in heroic “divine fecundity.”
We will also compare the shape of this inner journey with the 11th c. Camaldolese Benedictine wisdom of the “three-fold good” of the monastic life (experienced as monk in community, hermit in solitude, missionary in the world) and ponder how our own God-ward paths might be seen in that light.
I. Advancing Retreats: Rethinking Evelyn Underhill’s Engagement in the Retreat Movement (and its effect on her)
II. Evelyn Underhill and the Camaldolese charism of Triplex Bonum, the Three-fold Good