Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) was a prolific English mystic whose writing continues to influence readers around the world. In an era when women were unknown in theological circles, she lectured at the University of Oxford, spoke at Canterbury Cathedral, and was highly respected as a retreat leader and spiritual advisor. She was active in the Church of England for the second half of her life.

In his introduction to Evelyn Underhill's life and writings as a Christian mystic, Raymond Chapman, an English professor and Anglican priest, emphasizes how her experiences of God did not take her away from earthly concerns but immersed her more fully in them. She was an avid believer in everyday spirituality and the regular practice of prayer. You can read about these themes and others in this sampler of her writings which run the gamut from the highly abstract to the very practical.

Among the many interesting things Underhill has to say about the spiritual life and mysticism are the Incarnation as the basis of the Christian mystical tradition; the difference between mysticism and magic; the delights of seeing God in nature; the manifestations of the Spirit in the early church; the fresh perspectives that emerge from mystical development; the challenges of "deification"; the dark night of the soul; the slow and gradual growth in holiness; dealing with the setbacks and difficulties of a spiritual life; and the benefits of shared worship and sacraments.