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Document Details :
Title: The Imperative of Mystical Transformation
Author(s): BLAIS, Donald
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 13 Date: 2003
This paper examines mystical transformation as imperative to human development and completion. The underlying premise of the entire piece is three joint-assumptions:
(1) all human beings are intended to be friends of God, therefore requiring human conversion into something ‘more’ or ‘other’ than by which he/she enters the world;
(2) God has an eternal intentionality to complete the human personality with Himself;
(3) salvation must be understood as a dual process of a growth in experiential relationship with God and a transformation into godliness/theosis (whatever this might mean).
Blais, beginning with Transpersonal Psychology, moves through the Catholic mystic, S. Teresa of Avila to the Orthodox mystics Ss. Silouan the Athonite and Symeon the New Theologian, to more contemporary theologians, in order to demonstrate the intrinsic existence of a universal in all human persons placed within them at their creation, which Blais names an ‘imperative of mystical transformation’. Blais concludes by chiding contemporary Christianity for succombing to ‘bourgeois’, middle-classed institutional concerns over quantity of adherents over quality of adherents, as well as its concern over preservation of the status-quo.