Monthly Archives: October 2015

Article: “Sweetnesse in Communion with God”: The Contemplative-Mystical Piety of Thomas Watson, by Tom Schwanda

In a 2014 article, Tom Schwanda wrote about the Evangelical retrieval of contemplation. In the present essay, he examines the particular contribution of Thomas Watson, a 17th century Puritan who Schwanda argues was influenced by medieval mysticism:

This article seeks to trace the contemplative-mystical piety of Thomas Watson (c.1620-1686) who was a prominent and highly respected Puritan of seventeenth-century England. One reason for selecting him is that he is a helpful response to James Houston’s lament for the lack of contemplation within Protestantism. . . . This essay will clearly demonstrate that Watson was intimately familiar with the writings of medieval monasticism and equally discerning to appropriate the wisdom and sources of contemplation of the western Catholic Church without becoming entangled in the theological battlegrounds of “popery” that would challenge the Reformed theological sensibilities of Puritanism.

The citation of the article is:

Schwanda, Tom. “Sweetnesse in Communion with God”: The Contemplative-Mystical Piety of Thomas Watson. Journal for the History of Reformed Pietism, 1, no. 2 (2015): 34-63.

Because JHRP is an open access journal, Tom’s article is freely available.