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The third Faculty Pub Night of the 2022-23 season features Doug Christie, professor of Theological Studies (Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts). He will discuss his recent book, "The Insurmountable Darkness of Love: Mysticism, Loss, and the Common Life."


About Faculty Pub Night: 

Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the public are all invited to the 2022-2023 series of Faculty Pub Night at the William H. Hannon Library. Eight LMU professors are selected annually to discuss their latest publication or project in a comfortable setting and format that welcomes diverse perspectives for an inclusive conversation aimed to educate the entire community. All Faculty Pub Nights are free and open to the public.


About the Author's Work:

What does it mean to face and respond to the depth of loss that has become such a significant part of our lives in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries? Can meaning be found amidst such loss. Hope? Or is there only the immensity of loss itself, what Forrest Grander calls “the loss that all other loss fits inside?” Such questions are surfacing with ever greater frequency in contemporary discourse—in response to the crisis of global climate change, the violence of systemic racism, the emptiness of unchecked consumerism and so much more. And they are reshaping the way that many persons think about faith, giving us new appreciation for ancient traditions of faith rooted in darkness and unknowing. Especially mystical traditions that invite a deep and honest response to loss and articulate a vision of community arising from the emptiness of the abyss—what the 13th century Flemish mystic Hadewijch of Antwerp described as “the insurmountable darkness of love.”
The book, which takes its title from Hadewijch’s work, asks how ancient traditions of mystical writing rooted in darkness might help us address our current sense of impasse and loss. It considers also whether the particular character of our losses in the contemporary moment can help us read and respond to these ancient mystical traditions with greater feeling and care. And whether in doing so we might articulate a new vision of faith, sensitive to loss and silence, but also open to the power of love arising from darkness. 


About the Author:

Douglas Christie has taught at LMU in the Department of Theological Studies for over twenty-five years. From 2013 to 2015, he served as co-director (with Jennifer Abe) of LMU’s Casa de La Mateada study abroad program in Córdoba, Argentina.
His research and scholarship focuses on ancient Christian contemplative and mystical traditions, with a particular interest in how they can serve as resources for contemporary thought and practice. He is the author of "The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism" (Oxford, 1993), "The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology" (Oxford, 2012), and most recently, "The Insurmountable Darkness of Love: Mysticism, Loss and the Common Life" (Oxford, 2022). And he is the recipient of NEH, Lilly and Luce fellowships for his scholarship on contemplative thought and practice.

Additional information about the book


About the William H. Hannon Library:

The William H. Hannon Library fosters excellence in academic achievement through an array of distinctive services that enable learners to feed their curiosity, experience new worlds, develop their ideas, inform their decision-making, and inspire others. More information can be found at http://library.lmu.edu

For more information about this event, contact the Outreach and Engagement team at the William H. Hannon library via email at library.outreach@lmu.edu or call 310-338-5234.

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