Monday, July 14, 2008
TEACHING GNOSTICISM IN A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Check out the website of St. Olaf Catholic Church where a "Centering Prayer & Inner Awakening" day of teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault is being advertised.
Here, on the Diocesan website, is the listing for St. Olaf's.
The website of the Contemplative Society tells us who Cynthia Bourgeault is:
Hermit priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault divides her time between solitude on Eagle Island, Maine, and a much more extraverted schedule in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she serves as Principal Teacher for the Contemplative Society and an adjunct faculty member at the Vancouver School of Theology.
She is the author of five books: Chanting the Psalms, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening and Love is Stronger Than Death. She is also responsible for many articles and CDs on the Christian Spiritual Life. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California.
As well as her role with the Contemplative Society, she is also a retreat and conference leader, teacher of prayer, writer on the spiritual life, and Episcopal priest. Cynthia is passionately committed to the recovery of the Christian contemplative path and has worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating as a teacher of Centering Prayer, Fr. Bruno Barnhart, and other Christian contemplative masters, She is also committed to working with leaders of other religious traditions.
The website describes "A new piece of Cynthia's writing" just published. They tell us that the essays contained in it reflect
...on twelve years of spiritual journeying beyond the grave with her teacher/beloved Raphael, and the implications for our usual notions of death as "rest."
Here is one example of the instructional materials The Contemplative Society supplies as listed on their website:
TCS Launches a NEW 10 CD set
Mary Magdelene and the Path of Conscious Love - Cynthia Bourgeault
Join Cynthia Bourgeault as she takes us on a vivid in-depth journey through the Canonical and Gnostic Gospels to reclaim the highly esteemed Mary Magdalene of the early church, and to reveal her role as principal teacher and apostle. Learn to see both Mary Magdalene and Jesus with new eyes and to understand Jesus' teaching on 'relationship' with others as a tool for transformation.
Through this CD set, Cynthia leads us to uncover a "vision of Christianity based on transformative and redemptive love, versus renunciation and judgment -- a Christianity based on what connects us rather than what separates us".
Bourgeault has written an article about Jacob Boehme for Gnosis Magazine.
Spirit Daily has linked A Faithful Rebel blog that talks about Bourgeault's appearance at St. Olaf, and labels her a "Supporter of Homosexual Unions".