• John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Basilea Schlink: Searching for Clues…

A previous generation of Christian readers was more familiar with the name of Basilea Schlink (1904-2001), a German mystic who wrote several bestselling accounts of her life with God in the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary she helped lead after World War II.

In my thinking about how mystical experience properly figures in a Christian epistemology, her example baffles me. A highly educated woman from a well educated family, she testifies in her writings to a very wide range of decisions she seems to have taken almost entirely on the basis of intuition, including cutting drastically short one sister’s rehabilitation in hospital (the nun then evidently made an amazing recovery) and making all sorts of financial commitments in the face of precisely no money on hand or on the horizon. It sounds like the testimony from a quite ancient era and a much different class, but here is a middle-class Western woman cheerfully accounting for these decisions in books that thousands of others have found inspiring.

I find it all quite stunning, and would like some perspective. So I’m asking for help, after a fruitless search on the Web for any serious studies of her life and her work—and particularly her epistemology! If you know of any, please comment below. Thanks!

Related Posts

See All

Television audiences throughout North America and beyond have been riveted by the recent opening to talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel’s program. Having missed an entire week without the network providing an

Molly Worthen, a reputable scholar of American evangelicalism who teaches at the estimable University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, suggests in a recent New York Times article that evangelicals have

[The following is another post originally up in slightly different form at “Context with Lorna Dueck.”] “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” Well, let’s see. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made t