Living most of her life in England, Underhill used writing as a vehicle to express her passionate search for the infinite life. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikipedia Wikisource. The entire essay is about prayer as the process of releasing yourself to do the will of God in the world. In she married Hubert Stuart Moore, also a barrister. Teachings of Gurdjieff: A Pupil's Journal. During World War I Evelyn Underhill worked at the Admiralty in the naval intelligence Africa department, but her views changed and in she found herself a Christian pacifist. The primary reason for this change seems to have been that she felt that the dogmas of Roman Catholicism quenched both the intellect as well as personal freedom in spiritual matters.
Adherence is being passionately devoted to your relationship with God to the point where it takes precedence over all other things. It is, ultimately, to live every moment with the recognition that you are in the intimate presence of God. This is not quite where Underhill lands at the end of her life, however. His treatment was for Underhill to spend time caring for the poor. In Underhill was invited to address the United Free Church in Scotland with the topic of prayer. Her address was not published until five years after her death in her Collected Papers.
The first mark of distinction is the way that Underhill began her address when defining prayer:. What, then, is Prayer?
In a most general sense, it is the intercourse of our little human souls with God. Therefore it includes all the work done by God Himself through, in, and with souls which are self-given to Him in prayer. Prayer, then, is a purely spiritual activity; and its real doer is God Himself, the one inciter and mover of our souls. In a word, prayer begins with grace and not works.
Of the threefold pattern of the French school of adoration, adherence, and cooperation, Underhill had introduced the first two elements in her essay of This last essay would be the one in which she completes the triad by introducing cooperation, although she does not use the term cooperation per se. The entire essay is about prayer as the process of releasing yourself to do the will of God in the world.
This, according to Underhill, is the life of prayer. Underhill stresses in this essay a new idea that will become a common theme for the rest of her life: sacrifice. The love of God, which inspires us to prayer in the first place, is the love of our crucified Lord—self-sacrificial love. She became much more conscious of the effects of sin in the larger world, not simply the individual life. The foremost example of this was her public advocacy of pacifism at the advent of World War II, a decidedly unpopular position that cost her reputation dearly.
Still Underhill was unswerving. Her life of prayer had lead her to believe that no Christian should kill another Christian for the sake of any nation, and if all who were baptized should refuse to fight, there would be no war. Few people have studied prayer in theory and practice—Christian or non-Christian—to the extent the Evelyn Underhill had. At the end of her life, after having considered many options, she concluded that prayer was about availing oneself to the purposes of God, not invoking the activity of God for either spiritual assurance or earthly benefit, but for conformity to the life and ministry of the one through whom we pray: Jesus Christ, the crucified.
On the shelves of spiritual books of our day, this understanding is not a big seller.
Although Evelyn Underhill — was baptized and confirmed in the Church of England, the Underhill family could be considered Christians in only the most social of terms. Underhill had little formal religious education and no theological training.
It is this capacity for giving imaginative body to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity that seems to me one of the most remarkable things about your work. Many with a minimal literary background will have read articles or books by C.
The Lewis of popular consumption is certainly not the more nuanced and layered Lewis. The more popular books by Lewis were, mostly, published in the ss and up to his death in There have been many letters, books, articles by Lewis published since his death, but, the C. Lewis of the s was still in the budding phase with a few blossoms that hinted further fruit.
One spring about twenty-five years ago, when my family still lived in Minnesota, I was trying to decide what to give up for Lent. My friends were mostly giving up chocolate or wine. Those choices would have been perfectly appropriate for me too, but I wanted something different that year, so I went to our associate priest to ask his advice. He suggested that instead of giving anything up, I read a book, and what he came up with for me was Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill.
It may help to know that I had only been back at church for a few years, having not attended for about twenty. I knew very little about theology or spirituality. So Mysticism — with its page description of the unitive life, purification, voices and visions and a whole bunch of … Read more. In one little time, as little as it is, may heaven be won and lost.
A token it is that time Practical Mysticism Evelyn Underhill. Mysticism Evelyn Underhill "Mysticism" is one of most celebrated books on the subject. The spirit of the book is romantic, engaged, and theoretical rather than historical or scientific.
Underhill has little use for theoretical