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James Loder, Mystical Spirituality, and James Hillman


Eolene Boyd-MacMillan

Transformation is a desired outcome of Christian spirituality. Christians pray, trust, and hope that their responsive embrace of God will transform them. Interdisciplinary study of this process, as journey and as significant movements, hits upon key philosophical, theological, and psychological debates. Are all spiritualities the same core with an overlay of traditional practices and beliefs? How is the Holy Spirit involved in human life as the potential for this transformation process unfolds from birth? Can psychological theories of transformation that do not affirm divine reality have explanatory and descriptive power for Christian understandings of transformation?
These areas of focus and related questions encompass broad landscapes. This book places a magnifying glass on one piece of the terrain by engaging the work of philosopher, theologian, and psychologist James Loder, mystical spirituality scholars Andrew Louth, Bernard McGinn, Denys Turner, and Mark McIntosh, and archetypal movement founder James Hillman. Without denying differences, this work is the first analysis to identify connections among these thinkers. The significance of the connections is both substantive and methodological for intra- and inter-faith (broadly understood) spirituality discussion, as well as for the engagement of the Christian church with the culture of the twenty-first century.


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Acknowledgements 7


Acknowledgements Without the persistent encouragement of Dan Hardy I might not have persevered with this publication. Without the timely support of David Ford I would not have been able to go forward with it. I am grateful to both Dan and David and to the Bethune-Baker Fund, Cambridge Faculty of Divinity, for their grant. At Peter Lang, my thanks go to Graham Speake and James Francis for their belief in and assistance with this project. I would like to thank James Loder (posthumously), Denys Turner, and James Hillman for reading and commenting on my analyses of their theories and texts. Dana Wright, formerly of Princeton Theological Seminary and presently of Fuller Theological Seminary, has freely shared his time and knowledge of the work of James Loder. My thanks also to Fraser Watts who introduced me to the work of James Hillman. I would also like to thank John and Margaret Bowker for their interest and support during the research and writing of this text. Many other people have been supportive during the research, writing, and revisions of this text and I am deeply grateful to each of them. Most of all, I am grateful to my husband, Ronald Boyd- MacMillan, for his wit, insight, and love. For Ronald ‘a cord of three strands is not quickly snapped’ Ecclesiastes 4.12.

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