St John of the Cross

The bibliography on John is also immense and multilingual. Marocchi (see above, 170-174) acutely surveys recent scholarship.

Crisogono de Jesús, The Life of St. John of the Cross, trans. Kathleen Pond, London: Longmans, 1958, is considered the classic biography, but the English version is now quite out-of-date. Outstanding for its thoroughness, incorporation of recent scholarship, and illustrations is God Speaks in the Night: The Life, Times, and Teaching of St. John of the Cross, Washington, DC: ICS Publications, 1991. Among other biographies, Richard P. Hardy, John of the Cross: Man and Mystic, Boston: Pauline, 2004, offers a refreshingly human portrait of the saint; Gerald Brenan’s St John of the Cross: His Life and Poetry, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973, is well-informed and readable; Robert Sencourt’s Carmelite and Poet: A Framed Portrait of St. John of the Cross, New York: Macmillan, 1944, pays particular attention to the writings; and Wilfrid McGreal’s John of the Cross, (Fount Christian Thinkers), London: Fount, 1996, briefly recounts the essentials.

Among studies of John’s spirituality Iain Matthew, The Impact of God: Soundings in St John of the Cross, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1995, is an outstanding introduction; Rowan Williams’ chapter on John in The Wound of Knowledge: Christian Spirituality from the New Testament to St. John of the Cross, London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1979, 159-179, is brief but well-focussed on central issues. Among other worthwhile studies are: Ross Collings, John of the Cross, (The Way of the Christian Mystics 10), Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990; Alain Cugno, St. John of the Cross: Reflections on Mystical Experience, New York: Seabury, 1982; Eileen Lyddon, Door through Darkness: John of the Cross and Mysticism in Everyday Life, Hyde Park, NY: New City, 1995.