The Life of Evelyn Underhill: An Intimate Portrait of the Groundbreaking Author of Mysticism

The Life of Evelyn Underhill: An Intimate Portrait of the Groundbreaking Author of Mysticism

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"Margaret Cropper was the first to capture [Evelyn Underhill's] life, which now in this new century can continue to inspire, challenge and point the way for those on the ancient quest for the holy."
—from the Foreword by Dana Greene, dean of Oxford College of Emory University

SkyLight Lives reintroduces the lives and works of key spiritual figures of our time—people who by their teaching or example have challenged our assumptions about spirituality and have caused us to look at it in new ways.

Evelyn Underhill (1875–1941) was one of the most highly acclaimed spiritual thinkers of her day. Her fresh approach to mysticism provided one of the first invitations to modern seekers to realize that not only saints or great holy men could experience the love of God—but that all people contain within them a capacity for the Divine.

This intimate biography, written by one of Underhill’s closest friends, allows us to appreciate this revolutionary woman as both a charming, down-to-earth friend and a groundbreaking spiritual seeker and guide.

Through letters, personal reminiscences, and excerpts from Underhill’s much-loved published writings—including her definitive Mysticism, published in 1911 and continuously in print since then—Margaret Cropper captures the spirit, journey and wisdom of one of the most influential women of the early twentieth century.

Updated with a new foreword by Dana Greene, dean of Oxford College of Emory University, this intriguing spiritual portrait includes a brief memoir of Lucy Menzies, one of Underhill’s closest confidants, highlighting their remarkable relationship.

This biography of Evelyn Underhill, one of the greatest spiritual thinkers of the early twentieth century, guides readers on a voyage through her life and a survey of her spiritual classics that would forever bring the Divine into the everyday for countless people.

A passionate writer and teacher who wrote elegantly on mysticism, worship and devotional life, Evelyn Underhill urged the integration of personal spirituality and worldly action. This is the moving story of how she made her way toward spiritual maturity, from her early days of agnosticism to the years when her influence was felt throughout the world.

An early believer that contemplative prayer is not just for monks and nuns but for anyone willing to undertake it, Underhill considered the study of modern science not as a threat to contemplation but rather an enhancement of it. Her many lectures and writings on mysticism and spirituality, including her classic Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness, inspired the many people touched by her unique passion to take on a spiritual life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781893361706
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Series: Skylight Illuminations Ser.
Edition description: 1ST SKYLIG
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Margaret Cropper was a close friend of Evelyn Underhill for many years. She was the author of many volumes of poetry, plays and prayers, and was associated with many movements for the revival of religious drama.

Dana Greene is dean of Oxford College of Emory University and a highly respected authority on Evelyn Underhill's life and writing. She is the author of the most comprehensive and scholarly Underhill biography, Evelyn Underhill: Artist of the Infinite Life, and editor of Fragments from an Inner Life: The Notebooks of Evelyn Underhill. She also serves as president of the Evelyn Underhill Association

Table of Contents

Foreword to the SkyLight Lives Edition
Lucy Menzies:A Memoir

1. Childhood and Girlhood
2. "I Entered Italy"
3. Years of Discovery
4. Vocation and Marriage
5. Early Married Years
6. Her Book Called Mysticism
7. The Years before the War
8. The War Years
9. Choice of a Director
10. “In We Are, and On We Must”
11. “Called Out and Settled”
12. A Tremendous Year
13. “In Torment and Effort to Serve the Brethren”
14. Speaking to the Clergy
15. The Revision of the Prayer Book and Matters of Reunion
16. Religious Editor
17. Chiefly about Retreats
18. The Golden Sequence and a Visit to Norway
19. The Last Retreats and Worship
20. Laying Down Tools
21. The Sword Outwears the Sheath
22. Doctor of Divinity and Pacifist
23. The Prayer Group
24. The Last Years


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