In No Strange Land: The Embodied Mysticism of St. Philip Neri

c6ea34d5-43f0-4372-a60b-940fa8389003“An outstanding contribution to Renaissance biography, historical theology, and the study of mysticism.”

This isn’t my own book; it’s the work of Father Jonathan Robinson of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Toronto, an esteemed theologian and doctor of philosophy, as well as a lovely person. I’m grateful to have had the chance to work with him and get to know him by serving as his copy editor and indexer for this beautiful  new book from Angelico Press.


From John M. Gist’s review in the March 11, 2016 issue of First Things Magazine:

What emerges is a well-informed history of sixteenth-century Florence and Rome, a lucid theological biography of Neri, and a study of mysticism in its Catholic context.

From the Angelico Press announcement:

In No Strange Land illuminates the richness of mysticism—in the life of Philip Neri—as an “experience of the activity of God.” The life of the Apostle of Rome demonstrates that it is primarily people, not arguments, that reveal the mysteries of God. Philip’s experience of God, his mysticism, was given him for the sake of others. Furthermore, that experience itself was embodied; that is to say awakened, nourished, and brought to fruition within the religious tradition into which he was born, and from which he lived—in particular the Church of Renaissance Florence and Rome, with its own particular appropriation of Christianity. It is this sacramental life that places mysticism beyond the merely private and esoteric, and allows for the mystic, in Newman’s phrase, “to use this world well.”

With great deftness, Fr. Robinson traverses biographical, historical, and theological domains as he examines the nature of experience, the roles of knowledge and love in prayer, and the primacy of grace in the accomplishment of salvation. Informative and engaging, In No Strange Land is an outstanding contribution to Renaissance biography, historical theology, and the study of mysticism.

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