A Brief History of Spirituality

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9781405117715: A Brief History of Spirituality
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A Brief History of Spirituality tells the story of Christian spirituality from its origins in the New Testament to the present day.

  • Charts the main figures, ideas, images and historical periods, showing how and why spirituality has changed and developed over the centuries
  • Draws out the distinctive themes of Christian spirituality, exploring the historical and cultural events and experiences that changed people’s attitudes and practices
  • Coverage extends right up to the modern day, exploring the huge changes in spirituality in recent years and the way it is nowadays often contrasted with ‘religion’
  • Written by a leading commentator on spirituality, and published in the popular Brief Histories of Religion series

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Book Description:

A Brief History of Spirituality charts the development of the Christian tradition of spirituality from its origins in the New Testament to the present day. Author Philip Sheldrake, a leading figure in the development of spirituality as an academic subject, suggests that Christian spirituality can only be understood in terms of a series of dialectical tensions : experience and practice; interiority and external engagement; personal and collective; this-worldly and future-oriented. Begining with a brief discussion of the importance of history when approaching spiritual traditions, this book then, working within a broad chronological framework, goes on to draws out the distinctive themes and emphases of Christian spirituality and show how and why different styles of spirituality have emerged at different points throughout history. Finally, an epilogue explores major shifts in the understanding of spirituality in the last part of the twentieth century and suggests some critical trajectories for the coming decades.

From the Back Cover:

A Brief History of Spirituality tells the story of Christian spirituality from its origins in the New Testament to the present day. Moving through the main figures and historical periods, the author shows how and why spirituality has changed and developed over the centuries.

Philip Sheldrake, a leading commentator on spirituality, draws out the distinctive themes of Christian spirituality, exploring the historical and cultural events that changed people’s attitudes and practices. The major spiritual teachers are described, along with the ideas, images and experiences that so strongly affected those around them. Coming right up to the modern day, the book explores the huge changes in spirituality in recent years and examines the way it is often contrasted with “religion.”

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781405117708: A Brief History of Spirituality (Wiley Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)

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ISBN 10:  1405117702 ISBN 13:  9781405117708
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007
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Philip Sheldrake
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