ISBN: 978-0800638931
Paperback: 149 pages, $19.00
eBook: 149 pages, $19.00

Trim Size: 8.7 x 6.3
Publication Date: May 2007
Rights: Contact Fortress Press

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Emerging Heart

Global Spirituality and the Sacred

“You get a deep, inner sense while reading Emerging Heart that we are all on the verge of something big if we simply allow it and explore our interior life.”

Highlighting pioneers of global spirituality such as Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham Heschel, Mohandas Gandhi, Howard Thurman, Bede Griffiths, and Dorothy Day, Emerging Heart shows how a variety of religious traditions emerge from and converge on a divine nature and mystic quality that creates a loving heart. Lanzetta first describes this phenomenon in her own experience and then elaborates on that mystical core, the notion of the divine, the new shape of interreligious dialogue, pioneers of this new global spirituality, and the personal, spiritual, and ethical challenges that it poses to us.


“…an immensely moving account of Lanzetta’s own spiritual experience combined with probing reflections on the mystical heart of world faiths…” — Ursula King, Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Bristol, Professorial Research Fellow, University of London

“Beverly Lanzetta is a powerful voice for those who find truth and beauty in a global spirituality.” — Harold Kasimow, George Drake Professor of Religious Studies, Grinnell College

“Lanzetta weaves together a tapestry of personal narrative, interreligious reflection, and spiritual insight with eloquence and force.” — Jorge N. Ferrer, Associate Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies

In her introduction, Beverly Lanzetta describes finding Ewert Cousins and the historical theology program at Fordham and reading a paper by Cousins: “I sat down on the steps in front of Keating Hall, and a voice, larger than myself, said, `This is it!'” That is how I have felt as I have read each of Beverly Lanzetta’s books, from Path of the Heart, to The Other Side of Nothingness, Radical Wisdom and now Emerging Heart.

I was like the persons Lanzetta describes in Emerging Heart: vaguely discontent, not fitting in any religious tradition, as Lanzetta says, “I could dwell in any religion, but I was not of it.”

Citing classical writers such as Meister Eckhart, Gregory of Nyssa, and Ibn al’ Arabi, and introducing such varied contemporary thinkers as Merton, Thurman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gandhi, Panikkar, Teasdale, Griffiths, Dorothy Day, Cousins, Heschel, Huston Smith, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lanzetta elucidates the convergence on a global spirituality that includes but goes beyond religious traditions.

Emerging Heart, like Lanzetta’s other books, is to be savored and re-read. She writes so clearly and deceptively simply that it is sometimes easy to miss all the depth and beauty of her lyrical prose. My third time through this book finds almost every page underlined. For example: “Mysticism scandalizes our complacency. It permits us to wake up, to open the eyes of the soul and to proclaim the right to be fully aware of the great burden placed upon us.” (p. 47) That “burden” is our “willingness to acknowledge what we already know,” our innate capacity to feel the “inherent non-harmlessness” and love of God, of the divine, of creation, and to mirror it for each other and, as such, to restore the wholeness, the holiness, of creation and the world around us. I look forward to her announced forthcoming book on the theologies and practices for sustaining our “emerging hearts.”
–Susan Gallegos