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Title: Echoes of von Hügel in the Spiritual Direction of Evelyn Underhill
Author(s): WRIGLEY-CARR, Robyn
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 27    Date: 2017   
Pages: 257-280
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.27.0.3254106

Abstract :
This article examines some of the echoes of Baron Friedrich von Hügel in Evelyn Underhill’s letters of spiritual direction. Von Hügel had a profound impact upon Underhill as her spiritual director, particularly his Christocentric focus and his emphasis upon the ‘Institutional Element of Religion’. But a number of additional echoes are also clearly evident in Underhill’s letters of spiritual direction that find their source directly in the Baron. For example, his emphasis on the givenness, otherness and prevenience of God, and his focus upon God, rather than the self. Also, the normality of dryness and darkness, acceptance of suffering and the need to focus upon the will not feelings. Other echoing themes include the importance of non-religious interests to keep directees balanced plus the necessity to have moderation in spiritual practices and never strain. The great diversity of souls in spiritual direction is another theme they both accentuate. In Underhill’s letters, we hear echoes of the Baron’s voice repeatedly.

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