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Contemplative Christianity

Exploring the spiritual heart of Christianity

At the heart of Christianity's monastic, contemplative, and mystical traditions lives the spirit of a fourth-century band of Christian renunciates known today as the Desert Fathers. These spiritual zealots lived outside the boundaries of society, pursuing spiritual purification through the renunciation of all worldly distraction. The legacy of their devotion lives on today in the inspiring lives of the contemporary practitioners who are dedicated to the pursuit of the timeless spirit and true meaning of the sacred Word.

  • Discover the heart of Christianity's ancient contemplative soul—and its relevance in today's fast-changing and chaotic world.
  • Explore the revolutionary—and evolutionary—spiritual philosophy of French Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, with cosmologist Brian Swimme.
  • Directly experience the spiritual depth and inspired compassion of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in an impromptu sermon videotaped in Bali, Indonesia.
  • Connect with some of the true spiritual pillars of Christianity today, in articles and interviews featuring Father William McNamara, Father Thomas Keating, Brother David Steindl-Rast, Brother Wayne Teasdale, and others.

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If anything is going to bring our world together in peace, it is the deeper movements of the spirit. What Is Enlightenment?, with its insightful and well-prepared articles and searching interviews, makes a most significant contribution to this unifying movement of the spirit. Beauty and even elegance, with wisdom and depth. Father Basil Pennington
Abbot, Holy Spirit Abbey, Conyers, GA

The Spirit of the Desert Fathers

These modern-day monks, nuns, priests, and visionaries show us that the practice of prayer, poverty, and renunciation is a direct and relevant path to the heart of Christianity's ancient contemplative soul.

Silence is the Language of God

Cynthia Bourgeault

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, practitioner and teacher of Centering Prayer and author of Mystical Hope, speaks with WIE about the modern face of contemplative Christian practice.

The e'M'pire

Father William McNamara

A Carmelite monk speaks passionately about the joys of living the holy life and the fulfillment found in renouncing what he calls the e'M'pire—the world of manipulation, mendacity, and mediocrity.

The Enemy Within

Archimandrite Dionysios

What would Christianity's Desert Fathers have had to say about the ego in spiritual life? WIE travels to a remote Greek Orthodox hermitage to speak with an inspired modern-day renunciate about the passion for purification that burns at the heart of this ancient tradition.

Could Christ Have Been a Woman?

Father Basil Pennington

The late Trappist monk and teacher of centering prayer spoke passionately about realizing our innate divinity, which simultaneously transcends and celebrates gender.

The Heart of the Matter

Father Thomas Keating

A venerated Trappist monk and leader of the Christian contemplative prayer movement explains why “celibacy is not just about chastity. It's about manifesting, in everything we do, the unconditional love of God.”

A Revolution of Authority

Brother David Steindl-Rast

David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk commonly regarded as Thomas Merton's successor in the Christian contemplative tradition, speaks about the essential nature of true spiritual authority.

Such People We Have Never Seen

Metropolitan Anthony

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain speaks about the mystery of silent contemplation and the preeminence of the true spiritual master.

Where Two or Three Are Gathered in My Name

Father Arseny

Witness a modern miracle as Father Arseny, a Russian Orthodox priest imprisoned for over twenty years in Stalin's death camps, demonstrates the remarkable power of prayer.

From Genesis to Cosmogenesis

Emerging from the root traditions of Christianity's past, these progressive Christian luminaries, scholars, and scientists are helping guide the world's largest religion into a new epoch in human history.

Beyond Sustainability: A Hopeful, Inspiring Vision of the Next 250 Years

Michael Dowd

Michael Dowd, former Evangelical minister, believes that as we integrate the story of cosmogenesis into our lives a worldwide spiritual revival will occur.

Transforming the Seeds of Corruption

Brother Wayne Teasdale

The renowned Christian lay monk and interfaith activist believed that if we are to survive as a species there must be a spiritual awakening of the human heart, one that transforms the core of limitation into the seeds of transformation.

A Song that Goes on Singing

Dr. Beatrice Bruteau

This contemporary Christian contemplative, passionate scientist, and philosopher speaks about the creative impulse behind the evolutionary design of the universe.

The Divinization of the Cosmos

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Brain Swimme in a discourse on the work and vision of Christian mystic, paleontologist, and pioneer of evolutionary spirituality Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

An Uncloistered Mind

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong, former nun and author of the best-selling A History of God, speaks with WIE about the need to redefine spirituality and reaffirm its relevance for civilization in the twenty-first century.

Preachers of a New Pentecost

Michael Dowd & Connie Barlow

Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd are traveling the ancient missionary path with a radical new message: the science of evolution may be the key to a worldwide spiritual revival.

When God Smiles

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu transforms this interview into a heart-rending sermon on the meaning of human suffering and the relationship between God and humankind.