The Essentials of Mysticism

A unique and concise introduction to Underhill’s wide-ranging thought, from mysticism and community life to prayer and social action, this new collection of essays brings together some of the author’s most enduring work. Showing the impressive range of social issues Underhill considered in depth, as well as her practical approach to living the spiritual life, this delightfully clear and accessible compilation offers valuable advice and true inspiration.

These nine essays deal with various aspects of the general subject of mysticism. Some discuss its general theory and practice and others deal with its application as seen in the lives and works of the mystics, from the pagan Plotinus to the Christian contemplatives of our own day.

Evelyn Underhill, a novelist and poet, published her first book in 1902 but her growing interest in mysticism led in 1911 to her greatest work, Mysticism. This classic text immediately established Underhill as the leading writer in the field, and she continued her work by writing many more significant and acclaimed books and essays. In 1921 she became Upton Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion at Manchester College, and was the firt woman to give a series of lectures on theology at Oxford.


  • The essentials of mysticism.
  • The mystic and the corporate life.
  • Mysticism and the doctrine of atonement.
  • The mystic as creative artist.
  • The education of the spirit.
  • The place of will, intellect, and feeling in prayer.
  • The mysticism of Plotinus.
  • Three mediaeval mystics : The Mirror of simple souls, Blessed Angela of Foligno, Julian of Norwich.
  • Mysticism in modern France: Soeur Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jesus, Lucie-Christine, Charles Péguy.
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