Tag: Michael Stoeber

Inter-Religious Contexts and Comparative Theology in the Thought of Evelyn Underhill: Symbolic Narratives of Mysticism and the Songs of Kabīr

by Michael Stoeber
Regis College/University of Toronto

This article first appeared in the Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, Vol. 26 (2013) pp. 91-106. The paper is reprinted by permission of Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies and Digital Commons @ Butler University © 2014.

Introductory Reflections

Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) regards mysticism as the core of religion. All religions include various dimensions: scripture/ mythology, doctrine/ philosophy, ethics/ law, social/ institutional features, ritual, material aspects, and personal and communal experience2. For Underhill, personal religious experience inspires and influences the development of these other aspects of religion—the heart of which is mysticism. Underhill asserts: “The mystics are the pioneers of the spiritual world3” (4); “Mysticism is the art of union with Reality.4

In defining mystics and mysticism generally in this way, Underhill suggests a number of interesting things that pertain … Read more

Evelyn Underhill on Magic, Sacrament, and Spiritual Transformation

by Michael Stoeber
Regis College University of Toronto

(This important article appeared in the March 2003 issue of Worship. (1) It explores little-known aspects of Underhill’s early thought, especially the connection between magic and mysticism. In the first years of the twentieth century Underhill grappled with this connection and wrote about it in her novels and early essays.  — Dana Greene, EUA President)

Underhill and Magic

Evelyn Underhill is firmly established in the mainstream of twentieth century Anglican-Catholic spirituality, probably influencing its contemporary shaping more than most writers in the field. In that regard, she was not extreme nor radical in her perspective. She was not a socio-political activist, except perhaps briefly, towards the end of her life, when she advocated pacifism at the beginning of the Second World War. She possessed no feminist agenda, and theologically she maintained … Read more