Spiritual Theology: The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today

Overview

Often spirituality today is isolated from church teaching and doctrine, as in Joseph Campbell’s treatment of myth and the many forms of New Age theologies, but doctrine apart from the life of prayer is abstract and sterile. In Spiritual Theology Allen turns to the great teachers of the past—the church fathers, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Bonaventure, Hugh of St. Victor, Calvin and Luther, George Herbert—to recover a spirituality that is rich with the doctrines and disciplines of theology. Allen covers the ...
See more details below
Paperback
$13.91
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$16.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $6.75   
  • New (8) from $9.95   
  • Used (13) from $6.75   
Spiritual Theology: The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$15.99 List Price

Overview

Often spirituality today is isolated from church teaching and doctrine, as in Joseph Campbell’s treatment of myth and the many forms of New Age theologies, but doctrine apart from the life of prayer is abstract and sterile. In Spiritual Theology Allen turns to the great teachers of the past—the church fathers, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Bonaventure, Hugh of St. Victor, Calvin and Luther, George Herbert—to recover a spirituality that is rich with the doctrines and disciplines of theology. Allen covers the great questions of the spiritual life: what is the Christian goal? what leads us toward that goal, and what hinders us? what is conversion? how can we discern our progress in the spiritual life? what are the fruits of the Spirit? A second purpose of the book is to introduce readers to the disciplines and texts of the threefold way, found in the eastern church from the fourth century on. Allen writes simply and clearly of the active life and the development of virtue, and the contemplative life, which includes coming to know God through the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture as well as directly, face to face, which is the domain of mystical theology. This book is a basic and accessible introduction to the classic writings and doctrines of the spiritual life.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Theology
C. S. Lewis once wrote of The Imitation of Christ that ‘it is not addressed to our condition.’ It suggests, for example, that scholars and writers hide themselves in the study when they should be helping in the kitchen. . . . The main thrust of this book is addressed directly to our condition. It is concerned with how we may live in the presence of God, and grow in the spiritual life. . . .

“The author draws on the whole sweep of theology and spirituality throughout the ages, and makes substantial connections between, for example, Calvin’s Institutes and the life of prayer, Gregory of Nyssa and the goal of Christian spirituality, and Iris Murdoch and moral awareness.

“The book is accessible in the best sense, not patronizing or simplistic, but clear, well illustrated, and free from theological jargon. It is a good and useful book which will take a thoughtful reader into the rich tradition of theological spirituality.
— Philip Crowe

The Tablet
I was glad to see the first chapter of this book entitled ‘What is Spiritual Theology?’ as that was the first question that came to my mind when I wondered whether or not to read it, given that I do not like theology and have never heard of the spiritual variety. . . . In a way, Diogenes Allen’s opening is an easy one, clearly and kindly written, citing examples from all ages and branches of Christian history. . . .

“Allen examines the most common reasons why people seek God, starting with distress in the face of troubles such as natural disasters. He writes well. All the motives he mentions for God-seeking are well explained, with the help of extracts from his customary wealth of sources. …

“Perhaps it is because I am a Catholic that I settled down most comfortably when I was past conversion and on to the eight deadly thoughts (or seven deadly sins, as they were called when I first learnt about them). Allen’s account of the difference between lust and sexual instinct is just one of those in this chapter which I thought a masterpiece. His piece on the dark night of the soul is wonderful. . . .

“By the time I had finished his chapters on ‘The Book of Scripture’ and ‘The Book of Nature,’ I was feeling positively inspired. It was a bit of a relief to find the end of the book discussing the growing closeness of God in terms of a habitual presence for spiritual theologians rather than a moment of ecstasy. . . .

“The book . . . is only 161 paperback pages of text, of which the central matter-of-fact core of advice will be good to have at hand while fighting one’s way through life.
— Teresa McLean

New Directions
Diogenes Allen’s new book . . . begins with an autobiographical exploration as to his discovery of ‘spiritual theology’ after years of being ‘a teacher of philosophy and theology to students preparing to be ministers.’

“This introduction is helpful and sets the scene for Allen’s endeavour, which is to open up the depths and vistas of the Great Tradition as a practice of holy living—a bodily practice of learning ‘to live every moment of one’s life with an awareness of God.’ Allen writes fluently, and in eleven shortish chapters covers the classical pattern of the spiritual journey as it has been repeatedly performed in the tradition. Above all his work bears the very real enthusiasm of a ‘convert’ who you sense is discovering something for the first time and is exceptionally eager to pass it on.
— David Moss, St. Stephen’s House

The American Spectator
I was glad to see the first chapter of this book entitled ‘What is Spiritual Theology?’ as that was the first question that came to my mind when I wondered whether or not to read it, given that I do not like theology and have never heard of the spiritual variety. . . . In a way, Diogenes Allen’s opening is an easy one, clearly and kindly written, citing examples from all ages and branches of Christian history. . . .

“Allen examines the most common reasons why people seek God, starting with distress in the face of troubles such as natural disasters. He writes well. All the motives he mentions for God-seeking are well explained, with the help of extracts from his customary wealth of sources. …

“Perhaps it is because I am a Catholic that I settled down most comfortably when I was past conversion and on to the eight deadly thoughts (or seven deadly sins, as they were called when I first learnt about them). Allen’s account of the difference between lust and sexual instinct is just one of those in this chapter which I thought a masterpiece. His piece on the dark night of the soul is wonderful. . . .

“By the time I had finished his chapters on ‘The Book of Scripture’ and ‘The Book of Nature,’ I was feeling positively inspired. It was a bit of a relief to find the end of the book discussing the growing closeness of God in terms of a habitual presence for spiritual theologians rather than a moment of ecstasy. . . .

“The book . . . is only 161 paperback pages of text, of which the central matter-of-fact core of advice will be good to have at hand while fighting one’s way through life.
— Teresa McLean

New Directions - David Moss
Diogenes Allen’s new book . . . begins with an autobiographical exploration as to his discovery of ‘spiritual theology’ after years of being ‘a teacher of philosophy and theology to students preparing to be ministers.’

“This introduction is helpful and sets the scene for Allen’s endeavour, which is to open up the depths and vistas of the Great Tradition as a practice of holy living—a bodily practice of learning ‘to live every moment of one’s life with an awareness of God.’ Allen writes fluently, and in eleven shortish chapters covers the classical pattern of the spiritual journey as it has been repeatedly performed in the tradition. Above all his work bears the very real enthusiasm of a ‘convert’ who you sense is discovering something for the first time and is exceptionally eager to pass it on.

Theology - Philip Crowe
C. S. Lewis once wrote of The Imitation of Christ that ‘it is not addressed to our condition.’ It suggests, for example, that scholars and writers hide themselves in the study when they should be helping in the kitchen. . . . The main thrust of this book is addressed directly to our condition. It is concerned with how we may live in the presence of God, and grow in the spiritual life. . . .

“The author draws on the whole sweep of theology and spirituality throughout the ages, and makes substantial connections between, for example, Calvin’s Institutes and the life of prayer, Gregory of Nyssa and the goal of Christian spirituality, and Iris Murdoch and moral awareness.

“The book is accessible in the best sense, not patronizing or simplistic, but clear, well illustrated, and free from theological jargon. It is a good and useful book which will take a thoughtful reader into the rich tradition of theological spirituality.

The American Spectator - Teresa McLean
I was glad to see the first chapter of this book entitled ‘What is Spiritual Theology?’ as that was the first question that came to my mind when I wondered whether or not to read it, given that I do not like theology and have never heard of the spiritual variety. . . . In a way, Diogenes Allen’s opening is an easy one, clearly and kindly written, citing examples from all ages and branches of Christian history. . . .

“Allen examines the most common reasons why people seek God, starting with distress in the face of troubles such as natural disasters. He writes well. All the motives he mentions for God-seeking are well explained, with the help of extracts from his customary wealth of sources. …

“Perhaps it is because I am a Catholic that I settled down most comfortably when I was past conversion and on to the eight deadly thoughts (or seven deadly sins, as they were called when I first learnt about them). Allen’s account of the difference between lust and sexual instinct is just one of those in this chapter which I thought a masterpiece. His piece on the dark night of the soul is wonderful. . . .

“By the time I had finished his chapters on ‘The Book of Scripture’ and ‘The Book of Nature,’ I was feeling positively inspired. It was a bit of a relief to find the end of the book discussing the growing closeness of God in terms of a habitual presence for spiritual theologians rather than a moment of ecstasy. . . .

“The book . . . is only 161 paperback pages of text, of which the central matter-of-fact core of advice will be good to have at hand while fighting one’s way through life.

The American Spectator
I was glad to see the first chapter of this book entitled ‘What is Spiritual Theology?’ as that was the first question that came to my mind when I wondered whether or not to read it, given that I do not like theology and have never heard of the spiritual variety. . . . In a way, Diogenes Allen’s opening is an easy one, clearly and kindly written, citing examples from all ages and branches of Christian history. . . .

“Allen examines the most common reasons why people seek God, starting with distress in the face of troubles such as natural disasters. He writes well. All the motives he mentions for God-seeking are well explained, with the help of extracts from his customary wealth of sources. …

“Perhaps it is because I am a Catholic that I settled down most comfortably when I was past conversion and on to the eight deadly thoughts (or seven deadly sins, as they were called when I first learnt about them). Allen’s account of the difference between lust and sexual instinct is just one of those in this chapter which I thought a masterpiece. His piece on the dark night of the soul is wonderful. . . .

“By the time I had finished his chapters on ‘The Book of Scripture’ and ‘The Book of Nature,’ I was feeling positively inspired. It was a bit of a relief to find the end of the book discussing the growing closeness of God in terms of a habitual presence for spiritual theologians rather than a moment of ecstasy. . . .

“The book . . . is only 161 paperback pages of text, of which the central matter-of-fact core of advice will be good to have at hand while fighting one’s way through life.
— Teresa McLean

Anglican Theological Review
Written by a prominent Protestant theologian for Protestants, this book has a decidedly Catholic tone and content. It is an attractive, accessible book that reflects not only the great learning of its author, but also his personal experience of Christian life and striving. Allen dares to cross disciplinary, generic, and denominational boundaries in order to appeal to all Christians to recall an ancient theological tradition that has almost been forgotten, even within Catholic circles. … In sum, … this is a marvelous, inspired, and inspiring book. Allen has rediscovered a precious heritage that is ours to claim as an answer to present needs
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561011308
  • Publisher: Cowley Publications
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: The New Church's Teaching Series
  • Pages: 182
  • Sales rank: 1,279,415
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.63 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

DIOGENES ALLEN is Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary. He teaches widely in both Presbyterian and Anglican churches, and is the author of a number of books on the spiritual life.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction Chapter 2 What is Spiritual Theology? Chapter 3 The Journey and the Goal Chapter 4 Conversion Chapter 5 Three Journeys to God Chapter 6 The Eight Deadly Thoughts Chapter 7 Progress in the Spiritual Life Chapter 8 Contemplation Chapter 9 The Book of Nature Chapter 10 The Book of Scripture Chapter 11 Mystical Theology Chapter 12 Christian Doctrine and the Spiritual Life
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)