Program & Replays

Mystical Christianity: Divine Desire and the Joy of Love

Broadcast on August 18, 2022
With Carl McColman
Hosted by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, PhD

Christianity has become so institutionalized as a patriarchal/moralistic religion that its mystical origins and contemplative wisdom traditions have all but disappeared. Yet, as author Carl McColman reveals, for those who seek out Christian mysticism, it is a joyful, deeply transformational, and even surprisingly sensual path of both personal healing and social justice. It's been said that "mysticism is the antidote to fundamentalism," and Christian mysticism reveals just how true this is.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • Mysticism is the all-but-lost original heart of Christian wisdom, and it's making a comeback today
  • Mysticism corrects the religion of dour moralism, replacing it with contemplative joy (and even a subtly erotic desire)
  • Christian mysticism is more than just a program for personal spiritual development, it inspires social and communal transformation as well
The opinions expressed here are those of the author/presenter and are not representative of Shift Network employees, customers, or other presenters.
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Carl McColman


Carl McColman is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and internationally known speaker and teacher on mystical spirituality and contemplative living. He is the author of many books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism... Eternal Heart: The Mystical Path to a Joyful Life... Befriending Silence... Answering the Contemplative Call... and Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught and Why That’s Okay.  Carl is one of the co-hosts of the Encountering Silence podcast, and blogs regularly at Patheos, Medium, and his own website. Although Carl’s primary spiritual path is Christianity, his approach to contemplation and mysticism is inclusive and expansive, and he is dedicated to exploring the common ground between faith traditions. He is particularly interested in the connecting points between Christian, Buddhist, and Pagan wisdom.

Carl is a lay Cistercian, a person receiving formal spiritual guidance from Trappist monks, and a commissioned centering prayer presenter. 

Carl McColman