By the time of his death in 1933 Henri Bremond, priest and member of the elite Academie francaise, had established himself in France, and increasingly in England and the United States, as a distinguished historian of Christian spirituality and as a Catholic modernist who helped to shake the church out of its dogmatic slumbers by embracing ""pure love,"" artistic-poetic expression, and mystical prayer as the privileged manifestations of spiritual truth. Drawing on substantial new scholarship in France, that has resuscitated and reinterpreted Bremond's work for our own times, and that sees Bremond as an important precursor of current trends in literary interpretation as well as spirituality, Gorday surveys the entirety of Bremond's corpus of writing, setting his work in its context of his personal struggles, as well as the wider setting of French historical and cultural development. ""Bremond's inquiries led him to some culminating reflections on the relation between mystical experience and poetry, anticipating the contemporary interest in 'text' and posing for us the question: Are we merely left with 'words, words, words'? Or do the words crystallize the mystical experience, though metaphorically rather than conceptually? Gorday traces these many developments of a complex thinker sensitively and articulately, in dialogue with the latest French discussions of Bremond."" --Eugene TeSelle, Emeritus Professor of Theology and Church History, Graduate School of Theology, Divinity School, Vanderbilt University ""Considering the volume of work that Henri Bremond published, the many subjects it engaged, and the degree of recognition that it received from his contemporaries, Bremond has been a figure underrepresented in scholarship. Gorday has mastered Bremond's considerable output, set it in context, and presented it in an accessible and attractive way. His Histoire litteraire provocatively rated by Emile Goichot as the most successful of all of the modernist writings, Bremond undertook his work of historical retrieval not out of antiquarian interest, but because he judged it of continuing significance for his own time. Gorday has done that for Bremond himself."" --C.J.T. Talar, Professor of Church History, University of Saint Thomas (Houston) Peter J. Gorday is a retired Episcopal priest, parish pastor, and marriage and family therapist in Georgia. With a PhD in Religion (Vanderbilt), and ThM in Pastoral Counseling (Columbia Presbyterian), he has authored studies in the history of Biblical Interpretation and the relations of theology and psychoanalysis, as well as a biography of Francois Fenelon (2012).