During the centuries that followed, the peaceful examples Hildegard, Francis, Clare, and other courageous, creative reformers seemed to be forgotten as the Spanish Inquisition arose and employed the horrific technologies of torture that we outlined in Chapter 2. If I had lived then, that would have been yet another excellent moment to renounce Christianity entirely.
But it also would have been a moment to stand up and stand tall with an alternative vision, to resist and defy the Inquisition, to risk imprisonment, torture, and execution to promote a better way, a nonviolent way, a way of love. That’s what Meister Eckhart did in the Thirteenth Century, along with Julian of Norwich, John Wycliffe, and Jan Hus in the Fourteenth, Nicholas of Cusa in the Fifteenth, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross in the Sixteenth, and Brother Lawrence in the Seventeenth. Those we honor today as great Christian reformers and mystics chose to stay Christian when Christianity as a whole was a hot, violent, ugly mess.
From “Do I Stay Christian: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned” by Brian McLaren