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Seeking the God Beyond: A Beginners Guide to Christian Apophatic Spirituality

Williams, J. P.
SCM-Canterbury Press LTD
PB ?| 6.1 x 9.2 x 0.5 Inch| 1 kg| 216 pages| ISBN 9780334057017
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Apophatic theology, or negative theology, attempts to describe God, the Divine Good, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God.

It is a way of coming to an understanding of who God is which has played a significant role across centuries of Christian tradition but is very often treated with suspicion by those engaging in theological study today. This book seeks to introduce students to this oft-misunderstood form of spirituality.

Beginning by placing apophatic spirituality within its biblical roots, the book later considers the key pioneers of apophatic faith and a diverse range of thinkers including C S Lewis and Keats - to inform us in our negative theological journey.

A final section explores what difference a negative theological approach might make to our practice and our liturgy.



Introduction: Speak of Me as I Am

Part 1 Biblical Roots 

 - Moses: The Fire and the Cloud  

 - The Song of Songs  

 - John the Baptist, Apophatic Prophet 

 - Jesus: Word and Silence 

Part 2 The ‘Negative Way’ 

 - Stripping  

 - Ascent  

 - Unsaying  

 - Union 

Part 3 Pioneers of Apophatic Faith  

 - Gregory of Nyssa 

 - The Dionysian Corpus 

 - Meister Eckhart  

 - Nicholas of Cusa 

Part 4 Allies on the Journey 

 - Athens  

 - Keats’ Negative Capability 

 - Narnia 

 - Zen’s ‘Don’t-Know Mind’ 

Part 5 Apophatic Practices  

 - Exuberance: Saying and Unsaying in Parable and Poetry  

 - Pilgrimage  

 - Liturgy 

 - Prayer ‘in the Cave of the Heart’ 

Afterword: Running Towards a Stone Tomb 

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