Welcome to the very first episode of Sancta Colloquia!
In this episode, I talk with my friend and colleague Rev. Kate Hanch (@katehanch) and we discuss mysticism, feminism, and white-supremacy. It’s clear that in this conversation I am wading into unknown theological waters, and Kate proves to be a good swim coach and life guard. She deftly moves me from my default to skepticism of mysticism into a “hot-damn!-Maybe-I-should-rethink-this” mindset. The way in which Kate engages medieval female mystics rightly challenges my average (mis?)conceptions about Mysticism. She reveals that mysticism isn’t only about our vertical relation with God, but also about participating in the horizontal actively and politically. So, if you’ve ever thought mysticism was merely a means for Christians to “Jesus-Juke” out-of-body experiences, think again. Mysticism has been and continues to be a means to combat and overhaul oppressive systems in society and challenge the status-quo.
To hear (and see) more from Kate about medieval female mystics, specifically on Julian of Norwich, watch this video by Dr. W. Travis McMaken (@WTravisMcMaken):
The Rev. Kate Hanch is studying theology at Garrett Evangelical seminary, and is also ordained in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Kate specifically studies medieval female mystics and 19th century black female mystical preachers.
Here are some resources from Kate for further reading and studying:
Andrews, William. Sisters of the Spirit: Three Black Women’s Autobiographies of the Nineteenth Century, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.
Ashon Crawley: “Black. Queer. Born Again.” https://aeon.co/essays/black-queer-born-again-a-life-in-and-out-of-the-church
Bostic, Joy R. African American Female Mysticism: Nineteenth-Century Religious Activism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. This is the book, more than any others, that challenged and changed my view of mysticism.
Crawley, Ashon T. Blackpentecostal Breath: the Aesthetics of Possibility. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.
McGinn, Bernard, ed. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. Modern ed. New York: Modern Library, 2006.
Newman, Barbara. “Annihilation and Authorship: Three Women Mystics of the 1290s.” Speculum 91, no. 3 (July 2016): 591–630.
Pelphrey, Brendan, and Julia Bolton Holloway. Lo, How I Love Thee! Divine Love in Julian of Norwich. Spring Deer Studio, 2012
Ruffing, J.K. ed. Mysticism and Social Transformation. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Washington, Margaret. Sojourner Truth’s America. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011
About The Host: Lauren R. E. Larkin is a priest in The Episcopal Church and teaches High School Religion/Theology. She is a mother of three and a wife of one. Follow her on Twitter @laurenrelarkin and read her musings over at laurenRElarkin.com.