Quietism, Dynamic Passivity, and the Void

By Trevor Boiling

A study of Quietism and its central of spiritual peace, power and passivity, drawing on a new translation of the Spiritual Guide of Miguel de Molinos.

ISBN: 9780227679807


The secret to inner harmony can be uncovered in Quietism, Dynamic Passivity, and the Void, yet what is the essential difference between these three concepts? Within a highly original and wide-ranging discussion of the concept of Quietism and its divergents, Trevor Boiling investigates a profoundly metaphysical concept, whose precise definition has eluded many scholars.

Implied in any study of Quietism are the problematic notions of spiritual peace, power and passivity, which are subsumed by the author under his own concept of ‘dynamic passivity’, the central concern of the study. Boiling does this by asserting the essentially dynamic passivity of Quietism’s central text, the Spiritual Guide by the ‘Father of Quietism’, Miguel de Molinos (presented here in a new translation by the author). Molinos is claimed to be heir to the vibrant mystical tradition of St. John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila. Additionally, the author presents a penetrating analysis of Molinos’ concept of the Void (nada), which is very much the same as it is for the Taoists and Buddhists.

This impressively detailed study makes an ideal companion to the translated, complete volume of The Spiritual Guide by Miguel de Molinos, published in 2006 by our sister imprint The Lutterworth Press.

Additional information

Dimensions234 × 156 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Trevor Boiling took his doctorate at Liverpool University on the Spiritual Guide of Miguel de Molinos. He has spent his working life as a lecturer in languages in various colleges of further and higher education. He is married with a grown-up daughter.

Miguel de Molinos, born in 1628, was the founder of Quietism, to which he adhered in its most extreme form. From 1663 he lived principally at Rome, and in 1675 his Guida Spirituale was published. In 1685 Molinos was condemned by the Inquisition and died whilst being imprisoned.


Part 1. Setting the Scene
Introduction and Prolegomena
1. The Nature of Enlightenment
2. The Spiritual Guide, Enlightenment, and Spiritual Peace
3. Dynamic Passivity and World Religions
4. Quietism and Dynamic Passivity – the Difference

Part 2. Quietism and Mystical Prayer
5. A Brief History of Quietism
6. Quietism and Miguel de Molinos
7. The Spiritual Guide and St John of the Cross

Part 3. Dynamic Passivity and its Expressions
8. Dynamic Passivity and the Void
9. Dynamic Passivity and Theology
10. Dynamic Passivity and Philosophy
11. Dynamic Passivity and Psychology
12. Dynamic Passivity and Art

Part 4. The Spiritual Guide: Its Contemporary Relevance
13. The Spiritual Guide and the Dilemma of Our Times
14. Towards a Spirituality for Our Times
15. Jesus Christ is Health

Part 5. Epilogue

Conclusion: The Spiritual Guide and the Rich Treasure of Interior Peace