Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

Research, Reviews, Conferences




Andrew J Brown & John C. Morgan
127 pp
Lighthouse Editions 2007
for The Unitarian Christian Association
ISBN 978-1-904998-03-7

The authors are:
John C. Morgan who has been a minister in America for over twenty five years and writes widely on spirituality, and Andrew J Brown who was a professional jazz and rock bassist before training for the ministry at Oxford, he is now minister to the Memorial Church (Unitarian) in Cambridge England.

Andrew writes: Lighthouse Editions very kindly published this prayer book on behalf of the Unitarian Christian Association and so some readers may well wonder if there is any connection between what is today called ‘Western-esotericism’ and the Socinian/Unitarian Christian tradition from which this book springs.

Well, there were a number of figures within both the Radical Reformation and the later Radical Enlightenment periods who, for a variety of reasons, were particularly interested in neo-Platonism and the Kabbalah. In affirming Jesus’ humanity and the Unity of God the Socinian/Unitarian tradition (initially born out of an interesting mix of Italian Renaissance Humanism and Polish Anabaptism) naturally found some of the fruits of this study particularly interesting because it opened up new theological and philosophical possibilities for a genuine reconnection with Judaism and Islam, both of which also denied the divinity of Christ.

In an age when an increasingly sectarian spirit is abroad in our world this fact alone is, if nothing else, a timely reminder that there always exist routes and influences which cross the religious boundaries that some people like to claim are impermeable and eternal.

This book of prayers and worship for individuals, small groups and house churches is the fruit of the Unitarian Christian Tradition, which cherishes freedom of belief and openness to other insights, while remaining deeply rooted in the core Christian Tradition. It draws on the range of Pietist and Mystical traditions of the Radical Reformation from which Unitarian Christian churches in the UK and USA sprang. These are woven together with more recent thinking, notably the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to offer a framework for the spiritual life that includes both solitude and community: it includes

• a pattern of daily prayer

• a month of morning and evening prayers

• a plan for individual retreats

• prayers for communal worship



November 27, 2007 at 6:23 pm

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