Exploring the religious impulse known as mysticism - the "silent cry" at the heart of all the world's religions. Mysticism, in the sense of a "longing for God," has been present in all times, cultures, and religions. But Soelle believes it has never been more important than in this age of materialism and fundamentalism. The antiauthoritarian mystical element in each religion leads to community of free spirits and resistance to the death-dealing aspects of our contemporary culture. Religion in the third millennium, Soelle argues, either will be mystical or it will be dead. Therefore, Soelle identifies strongly with the hunger of New Age searchers, but laments the religious fast food they devour. Today, a kind of "democratized mysticism" of those without much religious background flourishes. This mystical experience is not drawn so much of the tradition as out of contemporary experiences. In that sense, each of us is a mystic, and Soelle's work seeks to give theological depth, clarity, and direction. This, her magnum opus, conjoins Soelle's deep religious knowledge and wisdom with her passion for social justice into a work destined to be a classic of religious literature.
Dorothee Soelle was Professor of Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, for thirteen years. Among her many influential writings are Great Couples of the Bible (2005; 0-8006-3831-X), Theology for Skeptics (1994; 0-8006-2788-1), and The Silent Cry (2001; 0- 8006-3266-4). She died in 2003.