Fall II: Christian Mysticism and the Secret of Knowing God

5 Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Eastern Time, USA,
online only via Zoom
November 9 – December 14 (excluding November 23)

Instructor: Brother Damien Joseph, SSF

There are no CE’s offered for this course.

Recent years have seen a renewal of interest in mysticism of various kinds, including the mystical tradition within Christianity.

It’s easy to think of Christianity as a set of doctrines and beliefs, as a systematic theology of right and wrong ideas, and as a way of knowing about God. But throughout the church’s history, another way has always persisted —sometimes dominant, sometimes neglected or mistrusted, or even actively suppressed. This is the tradition of the mystics, whose pursuit is not solely or primarily to know about God, but rather to know God, in a personal and experiential way.

Our goal will be to become familiar with some of the basic concepts and imagery of mysticism, and to encounter a few examples of mystical writing in hopes of enriching our own spiritual lives and practice, and as a challenge to approach God not merely through knowledge but also through experience. While the course content focuses on mystical theology itself, opportunity will be provided to discuss intersections and applications to Jungian thought.

We will approach this goal with a broad introductory session followed by four sessions looking at examples from individual mystical writers, in this case, all from the Franciscan tradition: Clare of Assisi, Ramon Llull, Bonaventure, and Angela of Foligno.

Session 1: Ascensio - the soul’s ascent into God
What is mysticism? In this introduction to mystical thought, we’ll take a brief look at the definitions, history, and major themes of mysticism as a movement in Western Christianity. We’ll also identify examples of major mystical thinkers for further reading and study.

Session 2: Contemplatio - fixing the mind on God
We will consider a mystical approach to contemplation using brief selections from letters of Clare of Assisi, her imagery of “the Mirror of Eternity,” and her instructions to a Sister on her method of contemplative prayer.

Session 3: Dilectio - the delights of God’s love
We will sample the rich (and historically often controversial) theme of romantic and even erotic love as an image for knowing God, specifically through selections from Ramon Llull’s Book of the Lover and the Beloved. We’ll also briefly touch on this theme’s roots in the Biblical Song of Songs.

Session 4: Passio - knowing God in suffering
The cross, suffering, and death of Christ may seem an unlikely ground for a way of contemplation often associated with “raptures” and “ecstasy,” but it is in fact central to the mystical vision. We’ll look at excerpts of Bonaventure’s reflections on the Cross and Passion of Christ, and on Francis of Assisi as an example of mystical union with Christ.

Session 5: Ablatio - the way of negation and unknowing
The pinnacle of experiencing God, according to virtually all of the great mystics, is the entry into a state of unknowing, beyond conceiving or describing. In this session, we’ll use selections from Angela of Foligno’s Memorial to approach the mystical via negativa (“way of negation”) and the compelling, if counter-intuitive idea of the “darkness of God.”


With the exception of the course on Redemption and the Dark Masculine, these are online courses, given through the program Zoom.
Please download the Zoom program in advance of the first class session at Zoom.us

The Redemption and the Dark Masculine course is a course
which is given in-person only at the Jung Center, 28 East 39th Street, NYC


On the Paypal login page, look below login fields for a boxed link


All 5-week courses are $175 for the general public and $150 for members.


The full fee must be paid at the time of registration.
Please register through the payment buttons on this website.

$175 General Public

$150 Members


When you pay you must also email your current email address and telephone number to the Foundation at cgjungny@aol.com.  The Foundation will send you an email message and you must reply to confirm receipt. If you are taking this course for 7.5 CE contact hours for licensed NYS Social Workers, Psychoanalysts and Creative Arts Therapists, please specify which license you hold and give your NYS license number.

 Class size is limited. Early registration is strongly recommended. Refunds for continuing education courses, less $15 for administrative services, will be made up to seven days before the first session. There will be no refunds issued after classes have begun. No exceptions will be made. Programs are subject to change without notice.


Christopher Cooper, MS, LP, NCPsyA, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City. He is also a strategic advisor to some of the world’s most respected brands and an expert in understanding the psychodynamics of organizations, including how archetypal patterns can disrupt the harmony and integrity of corporate cultures. Chris completed his graduate studies at Columbia University and clinical training at the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. https://christopherdcooper.com

Sanford L. Drob, PhD, is on the Core Faculty of the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, and the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. He holds doctorates in philosophy and clinical psychology and served for many years as the Director of Psychological Assessment and Senior Forensic Psychologist at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Dr. Drob is the author of numerous professional articles in clinical, forensic and philosophical psychology. His Reading the Red Book: An Interpretive Guide to C.G. Jung’s Liber Novus was published by Spring Journal Books in June 2012. Dr. Drob’s other books include Kabbalistic Visions: C.G. Jung and Jewish Mysticism (Spring Journal Books, 2010), Kabbalah and Postmodernism: A Dialog (Peter Lang, 2009), and Archetype of the Absolute: The Unity of Opposites in Mysticism, Philosophy and Psychology (Fielding University Press, 2017). He is also a narrative painter whose work encompasses archetypal themes.

Brother Damien Joseph, SSF, is a professed member of the Society of Saint Francis, an order of Franciscan Friars in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. He currently serves as Provincial Secretary for the American Province. He received a BA from Pennsylvania State University and completed graduate study at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL (counseling and theology) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA (theology and ministry). He worked in counseling and case management roles in crisis counseling, inpatient mental health, outpatient substance abuse treatment, and correctional counseling. He values his roles as a teacher, a mentor, an advocate and a servant leader.

Maxson J. McDowell, PhD, LMSW, LP, is a senior Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City.  Former President of the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, he is also a longtime faculty member. He has taught courses in dream interpretation online and in person for over 25 years.  He has published numerous papers on dream interpretation, Jungian psychology, narcissistic injury, systems theory and autism. 

David Rottman, MA, is past President of the C.G. Jung Foundation and is a member of the Jung Foundation’s Continuing Education Faculty. He is the author of The Career as a Path to the Soul. He was the editor and publisher for The Way of the Image by Yoram Kaufmann. He has a private practice in New York City.

Maria Taveras, LCSW, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City.  She is also an award-winning creator of Dream Art.  She creates art from images in her own dreams and is the recipient of two Gradiva Awards from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis for her Dream Art.  Her Dream Art has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Berkeley, London, Montreal, and Cape Town.


For more information, call or write:

Office of the Executive Director
The C.G. Jung Foundation of New York
28 East 39th Street
New York, New York 10016
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Email: cgjungny@aol.com
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Continuing Education Fall 2022