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by Nadia Delicata
“What is it to be holy?” This question fashioned Evelyn Underhill’s life. The young Underhill struggled with lack of intimacy and a disembodied spirituality. Her arduous spiritual searching drove her from pursuing magic, to a meticulous empirical study of the mystics, to facing personal tragedy in the First World War. Her gradual purification and transformation flourished in her encounter with Baron Friedrich von Hiigel, her spiritual mentor. In the process, she rediscovered her Anglican roots, and gave her ultimate assent to Christ. Underhill’s mature witness to the Christian life is revealed in her final “personal little hook” and testament, “The Golden Sequence: A Fourfold Study of the Spiritual Life.”
Nadia Delicata is a doctoral candidate in systematic theology at Regis College, University of Toronto.… Read more
by Martha Gross
In her writings, Evelyn Underhill challenges the reader to go deeper—beyond words, beyond labels, and even beyond dogma—to encounter Living Reality, The Absolute Fact, God. She identifies the human tendency to miss the symbolic or sacramental dimension of things, and to cling to labels as if they are reality itself. She likewise faults Christians for not looking deeply enough and hence not finding the self-disclosure of the Living God in Creed, liturgy, scripture and religious imagery. Throughout her writings Underhill invites us to open ourselves to the sacramentality of life. It is there we can find the Transcendent God – a God who is present, active and communicating in both the secular and religious moments of our lives.
How, one might reasonably ask, can people open themselves to perceiving the Living God in ordinary, secular experiences? Underhill … Read more