Harvey D. Egan SJ

Paul: Christianity’s Premier Apostolic Mystic

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Harvey Egan argues that the apostle Paul was Christianity's earliest mystic, and the world's greatest missionary, one whom scholars estimate walked over fifteen hundred miles--not to mention his dangerous sea journeys--to plant the flag of Lord Jesus in Roman colonies where Caesar was supposedly lord. This book stresses Paul's mystical consciousness and mystical life--the explicit and direct consciousness of the immediate and direct presence of the Trinity and/or Jesus-Messiah. It underscores mystical experience not only as discrete, individual experiences but also as experience in the sense that an experienced musician instinctively knows and loves music. From the light issuing from the risen Jesus-Messiah, whom he encountered on the Damascus road, Paul mystically read the Jewish Scriptures and comprehended that God consummated Israel's history through the sending of Jesus-Messiah and the Holy Spirit. Paul's letters are paradigmatic of the earliest use of the word “mystical,” that is, how the Jewish Scriptures disclose Jesus-Messiah. Thus, Paul, the zealous Jewish Pharisee, grew to understand Christianity as Judaism perfected.
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219 printed pages
Original publication
2021

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