By Philip Sheldrake
A short heritage of Spirituality tells the tale of Christian spirituality from its origins within the New testomony to the current day.
- Charts the most figures, principles, pictures and old sessions, exhibiting how and why spirituality has replaced and constructed over the centuries
- Draws out the unique topics of Christian spirituality, exploring the old and cultural occasions and stories that modified people’s attitudes and practices
- Coverage extends correct as much as the fashionable day, exploring the massive adjustments in spirituality in recent times and how it truly is these days usually contrasted with ‘religion’
- Written by means of a number one commentator on spirituality, and released within the well known Brief Histories of Religion series
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Additional resources for A Brief History of Spirituality
The Alexandrian theologian Origen (c. 18 The goal of the journey was a recovery of the original created likeness of God in the soul. In the following century, the Cappadocian theologian Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–395), notably in his Life of Moses, also described the contemplative journey in terms of the stages of ascent but in this case towards darkness rather than light. 19 Because of Gregory of Nyssa’s ‘‘apophatic’’ (that is, imageless) understanding of the climax of the contemplative journey as a deep darkness in which God is experienced but never finally known, there is a certain open-ended quality to his teachings about spiritual transformation.
His ascetic works remain at the heart of Eastern monasticism. Together with his sermons, the emphasis of Basil’s writings is a practical-ethical (ascetical) theology of the highest quality. Gregory Nazianzen was also concerned with monastic asceticism (with less emphasis on leaving the city for the ‘‘desert’’ or on the hermit life), but is better known as one of the greatest theologians of the early Church. For Gregory, strongly influenced by Origen’s thought, the spiritual life was a journey away from materiality towards a kind of spiritual luminosity or refinement.
Second, in a more fundamental way, union with God should not be understood only as a stage beyond other stages and achieved through contemplative practice. In another sense, Christianity understands the power of God (expressed in the language of ‘‘grace’’) as a prerequisite of all spiritual growth. Third, the notion of distinct stages can support a questionable hierarchy of spiritual and moral values and therefore of lifestyles in which the contemplative way is seen as distinct from and superior to the way of action.
A Brief History of Spirituality by Philip Sheldrake