Recent years have seen growing popular absorption with 'spirituality' in all its forms. But as this study shows, it is largely separated from theology. Spirituality has grown more self-referential and is subverted by consumerist mentality, while theology has grown critically proficient but uneasy in speaking from or to the heart of Christian mysteries. Through a study of exemplary writers such as Gregory of Nyssa, McIntosh recovers an understanding of the inner integrity of mystical consciousness and theological expression. The final chapters test the possibility of renewed conversation between spirituality and theology by drawing on spiritual traditions to re-think contemporary problems in Trinitarian thought, christology, and the understanding of the self. This book offers not only an analysis of spirituality and theology in the eras of their united activity, but also a hermeneutic for the theological appropriation of spirituality and a sustained argument for the renewal of mystical theology.
"McIntosh offers a fruitful avenue for overcoming the split between theology and spirituality that has emerged in contemporary Christianity. His mastery of the history of mystical theology is insightful and impressive. His hermeneutical strategy, developed both in its theoretical and practical dimensions, makes a major contribution to the recent study of mysticism." Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago "Mystical Theology is one of the most sustained, systematic and impressive attempts at uniting spirituality and dogma, and demonstrating the necessity of this union, that I have encountered." Brian Horne, Kings College London "The book is a sound exploration of the Christian mystical tradition. The strength of McIntosh's work is its attention to the postmodern question of the other, both human and divine. In short, McIntosh aptly shows that the mystical tradition, which has received comparatively little attention by modern theologians, can and must be an important source for postmodern thinkers. Those who are concerned to address the role of Christian theology in the postmodern age will find this book an important contribution." Timothy P. Muldoon, Mount Aloysius College, Journal of the American Academy of Religion "This is a clearly-written and well-crafted argument for the reintegration of spirituality and theology." Michael Downey, Spirituality