Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Prophecy and Mysticism: The Heart of the Postmodern Church

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Prophecy and Mysticism: The Heart of the Postmodern Church

Article excerpt

Prophecy and Mysticism: The Heart of the Postmodern Church. By Mary C. Grey. Scottish journal of Theology: Current Issues in Theology. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1997. 88 pp. $19.50 (paper).

Mary C. Grey, late of the University of Southampton and now scholarin-residence in contemporary theology at Sarum College, Salisbury, has presented a brief discussion about the contemporary need for a prophetic communal voice to address the questions of postmodernism. Her book comprises three essays: the first establishes a dialogue between Thomas Merton and feminist theology; the central question being how one might better influence the world; the second explores the "roots and wings" of relational theology; the third returns to themes and insights from the first, and asks about the dark night of the Church as liberation of community; her fourth and final chapter discusses the children of Sophia and the community as prophet. She notes at the outset that this work is an outgrowth of her Beyond the Dark Night-A Theology of Church (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1997), and her 1996 Scottish Journal of Theology lectures.

As such, the volume seems to present a conversation into which the reader is thrust, unprepared. Professor Grey, whose prodigious command of contemporary sources of feminist theology is both impressive and confusing to those less tutored, is establishing not just Merton in dialogue with feminist theology and with present issues, but many classic writers in the history of spirituality as well. The progression of her argument is that the true contemplative is not escaping from reality, but rather fully engaged in and with the world if he-or she-is to be a contemplative at all. …

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