Joseph Chalmers (born in 1952), after earning a law degree at Glasgow University in Scotland, entered the Carmelite Order and studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, ending with an STL in spiritual theology. He has written a number of books and articles on Carmelite spirituality and prayer and translated several books into English from various European languages. He served as Prior General of the Carmelite Order 1995-2007 and now lives in the USA.
Dr Elisabeth Hense T.O.Carm. (born in 1957) is Associate Professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. She published extensively on Carmelite spirituality, especially about Francis Amelry, Maria Petyt, John of the Cross and Titus Brandsma. During the last decade she also has been doing research in the field of ecospirituality, focusing, among other things, on the ecospirituality of Catholic parishes in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Carmelite and professor of philosophy Titus Brandsma, born in Friesland in 1881 and murdered in the Dachau concentration camp in 1942, did groundbreaking work in the field of Dutch mysticism. This book gives an insight into his scholarly work, his social commitment and his personal relationships. The texts selected here date from the period 1904 to 1942, during which time the themes of mysticism and spirituality, social teaching, peace and disarmament, heroism, journalism, education, the fight against poverty and animal welfare became increasingly important for Dutch society. Brandsma developed an explicitly Christian perspective on these topics, which he resolutely opposed to the National Socialist monopolizing of these issues in his time. For him, his socio-political commitment was deeply connected to what he taught at university about mvsticism and the concept of God. He wanted to bring his Christian philosophical viewpoint into society and make it fruitful for shaping a positive future. He only succeeded to a limited extent, however, because he felt the full force of the reaction of National Socialist ideology to his work. Nevertheless, Brandsma did not give up and is therefore still a role model for all those who courageously stand up for humanity, mutual respect appreciation of all fellow human beings, open debate and the practice of fundamental values and virtues.