A Brief History of Spirituality / Edition 1

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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. 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."

About the Author:
Philip Sheldrake is also Honorary Professor at the University of Wales Lampeter and is regularly a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and other North American universities

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Sheldrake's] grasp of the key figures and movements within the western Christian tradition is consistently sure-footed, and the book will be very useful for those seeking an accessible one-volume introduction to the subject by an acknowledged authority ... This is an excellent book and can be safely recommended to students and others alike." Theology

“Wonderfully encapsulates the complex manner in which the term spirituality has taken on various meanings within the Christian tradition … Those who are interested in learning more about the major movements in the Christian tradition are sure to find this book a wonderful introduction into learning more about thinkers who have ardently longed to attain wisdom.” The Heythrop Journal

“One gets the sense that Sheldrake knows and loves his subject, and more importantly, wants to share his knowledge with others. I strongly recommend this book.” Anglican Theological Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Philip Sheldrake is William Leech Professorial Fellow in Applied Theology at the University of Durham. He is also Honorary Professor at the University of Wales Lampeter and is regularly a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and other North American universities. He has taught and written extensively in the field of Christian spirituality and spirituality more generally. His books include Spirituality and History (2nd edn 1998), Spaces for the Sacred: Place, Memory and Identity (2001) and, as editor, New SCM Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (2005, in the USA New Westminster Dictionary). He is Past President of the international Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.
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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Introduction: What is Spirituality?     1
Contemporary Meaning     1
Spirituality and History     4
Interpretation     6
Periods and Traditions     10
Foundations: Scriptures and Early Church     12
Christian Spirituality and the Scriptures     12
Scriptural Markers     14
Spirituality in the New Testament     17
Spirituality and the Early Church     21
Liturgy     22
Spirituality and Martyrdom     24
Spirituality and Doctrine     25
Origen     27
Evagrius     28
The Cappadocians     28
Augustine     30
Pseudo-Dionysius     31
Christian Spirituality as Transformation and Mission     32
Theories of Spiritual Transformation     35
Conclusion     38
The Monastic Paradigm: 300-1150     40
The Emergence of Monasticism     41
Widows and Virgins     42
Syrian Ascetics     43
Egyptian Monasticism     44
Wisdom of the Desert     45
Monastic Rules     49
Benedictine Expansion     53
The New Hermits     55
The Cistercians     57
The Spiritual Values of Monasticism     60
Spirituality and the Conversion of Europe     62
Local Spiritualities: Ireland     63
Spirituality in the East     67
Syriac Spirituality     70
Conclusion     72
Spirituality in the City: 1150-1450     73
The Gregorian Reform     73
The Vita Evangelica     74
Twelfth-Century Renaissance     76
The Rebirth of Cities     77
Cathedrals and Urban Vision     78
The City as Sacred     80
Universities as Sacred Space     81
Vita Evangelica and Urban Sensibilities     82
The Mendicant Movement     83
Dominic, Francis, Clare, and Bonaventure     85
The Beguines     90
Fourteenth-Century Mysticism     93
Devotional Spirituality     98
Spirituality and Eastern Christianity     99
The Renaissance     102
Conclusion     104
Spiritualities in the Age of Reformations: 1450-1700     106
Seeds of Reform: The Devotio Moderna and Christian Humanism     107
The Crisis of Medieval Spirituality     109
Spirituality and the Lutheran Reformation     110
John Calvin and Reformed Spirituality     112
Anabaptist Spirituality     115
Anglican Spirituality     116
Puritan Spirituality     119
Early Quakers     121
The Catholic Reformation     122
The New Orders     122
Ignatius Loyola and Early Ignatian Spirituality     123
Carmelite Mysticism     128
Lay Devotion     131
Seventeenth-Century French Spirituality     133
Conclusion     138
Spirituality in an Age of Reason: 1700-1900     139
Spirituality in the Roman Catholic Tradition     141
Pietism     143
Wesleyan Spirituality     145
American Puritanism and the Great Awakening     148
Shaker Spirituality     150
Orthodox Spirituality     153
Post-Revolutionary Catholicism     156
The English Evangelicals     159
The Oxford Movement     163
John Henry Newman     165
A Distinctive "American Spirituality"     166
Conclusion     170
Modernity to Postmodernity: 1900-2000      172
The Impact on Spirituality     173
Evelyn Underhill     175
Dietrich Bonhoeffer     178
Simone Weil     180
Dorothy Day     183
Thomas Merton     184
Spiritualities of Liberation     187
Gustavo Gutierrez     188
Feminist Spirituality     190
Spiritualities of Reconciliation     193
Ecumenical Spirituality: The Example of Taize     195
Spirituality and Inter-Religious Dialogue: Bede Griffiths     197
Making Spirituality Democratic: The Retreat Movement     200
Making Spirituality Democratic: The Charismatic Movement     202
Conclusion     204
Epilogue     205
Notes     210
Select Bibliography     230
Index     241
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