The Story of Christian Spirituality: Two Thousand Years, From East to West

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9780745936413: The Story of Christian Spirituality: Two Thousand Years, From East to West

The Christian faith has had a phenomenal impact on the development of the western world. This beautifully illustrated introduction to Christian spirituality through the centuries covers all the major traditions—East and West, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, with special articles on key spiritual concepts, practices, and movements that continue to influence the way people all over the world live their lives in response to God. It also includes information on people and movements from outside the Church that have influenced Christian life and thought throughout 2,000 years. Also included are extracts from more than 100 of the greatest Christian spiritual writings—from the Gospels through the early Church Fathers, the saints and mystics, the reformers, and modern spiritual writers such as Scott Peck and C. S. Lewis.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This art-driven, coffee-table survey is comprised of 10 discrete sections of uneven caliber; it offers, nonetheless, a rewarding introduction to the varieties of Christianity. Spanning the first centuries through the present day, the book also includes chapters on topics such as "Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Spirituality" and "The Russian Spirit." Not all of the entries succeed: David Farmer's "Saints and Mystics of the Medieval West," for one, reads like a series of expanded entries from his own reference, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. It is infused with an artlessness evident, for example, in his appraisal of Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-74), who, he contends, "quietly corrected much of the work of his predecessors," and about whose spirituality he writes nothing at all. On the other hand, John McGuckin offers a enjoyable foray into the spiritual legacy of the Eastern Christian tradition, by way of brief entries concerning the lives and writings of such formidable religious thinkers as Basil of Caesarea (c. 330-79) and Isaac of Nineveh (died c. 700). A timeline accompanies each chapter, highlighting key moments and prominent individuals, and making for easy cross-reference among personalities. Numerous exquisite color illustrations grace these pages, and it is unfortunate that this lavish display is not better utilized to augment the written documents of Christian spirituality. The book's tantalizing tastes of a vast array of Christian literature may, however, seduce readers into sampling fuller versions of the texts presented, surely reason enough to go digging here. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Spirituality can be defined as the effort to seek out, experience, and live continually in the presence of God. This volume describes how Christians have done that through the ages and across cultures. It is a rather formidable undertaking to deal with the entire 2000 years of Christian spirituality in one book, but general editor Mursell, dean of Birmingham Cathedral, and his nine contributors are well qualified. They present a compelling introduction in the book's ten chapters, which run from the church fathers through Celtic, medieval, Eastern, Russian, Reformed, Anglican, European, and American Protestant spirituality and finally to "Spiritualities of the Twentieth Century." This book is well suited as a textbook for an introductory course in spirituality or as a reference tool in a variety of libraries, but it is also appropriate for casual readers curious about the story of Christian spirituality. John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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