The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality

Synopsis

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality is a comprehensive single-volume introduction to Christian spirituality, and represents the most significant recent developments in the field.
  • Offers a thoroughly interdisciplinary, broadly ecumenical, and representative overview of the most significant recent developments in the field
  • Comprises essays combining rigorous academic scholarship with accessible and elegant writing
  • Reflects an understanding of the field as the study of the lived experience of Christian faith and discipleship
  • Provides material on biblical, historical, and theological foundations, along with treatment of contemporary issues

Excerpt

Arthur Holder

The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality offers a comprehensive introduction to Christian spirituality, which has in recent years emerged as a distinct academic discipline in universities, colleges, and theological schools throughout the English-speaking world. The Companion is intended to be thoroughly interdisciplinary, broadly ecumenical, and representative of the most significant recent developments in the field. Without attempting to impose a single definition of Christian spirituality upon the contributors, as editor I have invited them to reflect on “the lived experience of Christian faith and discipleship.” The six parts of the volume deal with approaches to the study of Christian spirituality, biblical foundations, historical developments, theological perspectives, interdisciplinary dialogue partners, and selected special topics in contemporary Christian spirituality. My hope is that The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality will be of use to scholars in the field and in other related disciplines, to undergraduate and graduate students in theology and religious studies who desire a more accessible entry point to Christianity than might be provided by books dealing solely with doctrinal issues or institutional developments, and to Christians of all denominations and traditions who desire to learn more about the practice of their faith.

Defining Christian Spirituality

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God… When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8: 14–16). Although the apostle Paul never uses the word “spirituality,” this earnest confession of faith suggests that any Christian understanding of that term must necessarily refer to the intimate loving relationship between God’s Holy Spirit and the spirit (animating life force) of believers–a relationship that can be characterized both as kinship and as communion. The Christian life is always “life in the Spirit” (cf. Gal. 5: 25), in all its variety and unpredictability. The Spirit of God is one, but it manifests itself . . .

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