The Cloud of Unknowing Additional Summary


(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Hodgson, Phyllis, ed. The Cloud of Unknowing and Related Treatises. Analecta Cartusiana 3. Salzburg: University of Salzburg, 1982. This volume includes Hodgson’s edition of The Cloud of Unknowing and the related texts on contemplative prayer that are argued to come from the same author: The Book of Privy Counselling, The Epistle of Prayer, The Epistle of Discretion, Hid Divinity, Benjamin Minor, The Study of Wisdom, and Of Discerning of Spirits. It also contains six pages of bibliography.

Johnston, William. The Mysticism of “The Cloud of Unknowing.” 1967. 4th ed. Foreword by Thomas Merton. New York: Fordham University Press, 2000. The author gives an extensive study of the mysticism of the period and also compares the teaching of The Cloud of Unknowing with that of Saint John of the Cross and other apophatic mystics. There is a good introduction by Thomas Merton.

Pennington, M. Basil. Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form. 1980. New York: Doubleday, 2001. This study places The Cloud of Unknowing in its full historical context within the ever-renewing Christian tradition and gives a very practical, modern presentation of its basic teaching.

Szarmach, Paul E., ed. An Introduction to the Medieval Mystics of Europe: Fourteen Original Essays. Albany: State of University of New York Press, 1984. This collection of essays contains a good study of The Cloud of Unknowing by John P. H. Clark.