Toward a Rebirth of Sapiential Christianity
Foreword by Cynthia Bourgeault
Afterword by Cyprian Consiglio
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Much like Thomas Merton’s writings, this book recalls that a sapiential (wisdom) consciousness is central to the New Testament and remained the primary mode of theological understanding for more than twelve centuries. It proposes a new birth of this theology and understanding but with a new scope and new power for our time.
Bruno Barnhart was an author, spiritual director and monk of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California. He is the author of several books including The Good Wine: Reading John from the Center and Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity. He died in 2015.
Cyprian Consiglio, OSB Cam, is an author and a monk of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California, where he currently serves as prior of the community. His most recent book is Spirit, Soul, Body: Toward an Integral Christian Spirituality.
Cynthia Bourgeault is the author of nine books including Love is Stronger Than Death, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, and The Wisdom Jesus. She has also authored or contributed to numerous articles and courses on the Christian spiritual life. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California.
"There is a new day coming in Christian spiritual theology, and Bruno Barnhart is posting bulletins marking its progress and explaining its meaning. Christianity's opening to the East has sparked a resurgence of its own wisdom tradition, the Christ-centered nondualistic consciousness of the mystics, through which it touches in appreciative fellowship the other wisdom traditions of the world. Father Bruno traces how this renewed consciousness is breaking out of the conventional containers of Christian and Western religious experience and creating a new realization of the depth and dynamism of the divine incarnation in the human and in the world." —Beatrice Bruteau
"'Wisdom has built her house,' and Bruno Barnhart has opened wide its doors and windows. At the center is the incarnation of Wisdom in the 'Christ event.' Barnhart has written a stunning survey of the wisdom tradition, which encompasses ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, and looks to the future with global paths. He contrasts the rise of rationalism with the recession of sapiential theology. In the present Vatican II era, he sees the rebirth of wisdom and the transformation of consciousness. This book could only be written by one who lives its mystery. It will become a classic source on the wisdom tradition." —Ewert Cousins
"Barnhart (The Good Wine; Second Simplicity) is also a monk of the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, CA. His new book, a substantial contribution toward the renewal of Christian spirituality, is rather more controversial than it might first appear, given Barnhart's good Catholic background. Barnhart seeks and desires no less than a wholehearted rediscovery and reinvigoration of the mystical wisdom tradition that was once a powerful component of Christian spirituality, both Western and Eastern. As he rightly points out, this tradition, which he allies with Aldous Huxley's philosophia perennis, went into decline hand in hand with the overall decline of monastic orders, as Christianity became more public and congregational in its focus. He sees this moment of history as the "new dawn" of the wisdom tradition within Christianity; whether he is correct, and what role his learned and passionate advocacy will have, only time will tell. For most collections." —Library Journal