The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message

The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message

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by Cynthia Bourgeault
     
 

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If you put aside what you  think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of

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Overview

If you put aside what you  think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are few spiritual teachers who give us genuinely fresh insight, but even fewer who give us the tools so we can come to those insights for ourselves. Cynthia Bourgeault does both, and does them very well!"—Richard Rohr, OFM, author of  Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

"A masterful work. Cynthia Bourgeault invites us to follow Jesus's path of self-emptying love, and she describes wisdom practices that we Christians can use every day to transform our own minds so that we too can see with the eyes of Christ."—Jim Marion, author of Putting on the Mind of Christ 

"Bourgeault centers her expansive house of wisdom in the sayings and extraordinary death of the gospel Jesus as she turns light and darkness into a living poetry of self-emptying vision."—Willis Barnstone, author of  The Other Bible, coauthor of The Gnostic Bible

Publishers Weekly

Inspired by the Nag Hammadi discoveries and influenced by more than 30 years of study with Fr. Thomas Keating and other contemplatives in a variety of wisdom traditions, Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest, encourages seekers to reach beyond the Western tradition of Jesus-as-Savior to embrace Jesus more wholly as a wisdom teacher. Through a transformative lesson in vocabulary, giving new meaning to perceptions like "head," "heart" and "repentance," she offers a fresh reading of the Beatitudes, challenges us to explore the more complicated messages imbedded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and emphasizes a notion of "self-emptying love" that allows for a shift in consciousness from ego-based analysis to acceptance of divine abundance, which in turn sheds new light on examinations of the Passion, crucifixion and ensuing events. Guided chapter primers on centered meditation and chanting further prepare readers to test the open waters of welcoming the "flow of... deeper sustaining wisdom." Though strict legalists may not warm to this new spiritual perspective, other students of faith will find an especially intriguing and engaging path waiting for them. (Aug.)

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Library Journal

Episcopal priest Bourgeault (Centering Prayer) offers a fluent, persuasive reimagining of Christian understanding through the lens of the Eastern search for wisdom. Although the publisher is best known for Buddhist works, Bourgeault's innovative approach results in a sound and authentic Christianity that takes into account historical discoveries and Eastern traditions; her vision of Jesus centers around "self-emptying." With five "wisdom practices" for Christians. Highly recommended.


—Graham Christian

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590305805
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
08/12/2008
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
75,609
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD, is an Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader. She is the author of several books, including Chanting the Psalms and Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening.

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The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind--A New Perspective on Christ and His Message 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Christianexistentialist More than 1 year ago
Bourgeault invites us into the other 270 degrees of Jesus so often missed by Western Christianity. Draw a circle around the Near East where Jesus lived and taught and only 90 degrees of that circle touches Italy and the West. Those of us brought up in the Western Catholic tradition have a 90 degree creedal view of Jesus. Bourgeault reminds us that Jesus was a First Century Jew and a Wisdom Figure. Like most Near Eastern Wisdom Figures he told stories that were more like riddles than didactic teachings. Like most Wisdom Figures Jesus called people into a new reality - the Kingdom of God. Bourgeault delves into 'extra-canonical' literature to prove the valid point that the church of the West has indeed suppressed and even distorted the Jesus of the Near East. The Gospel of Thomas is one source that she uses in her arguments. This and other writings are recent finds that bring to light a fresh look at Jesus. Her arguments are sound and deepen our perspective on Christ. She invites us not to disown the 90 degree Jesus, but rather to embrace the 360 degree Jesus! Her insights into the Sermon on the Mount and several of the more enigmatic sayings in the Gospels are most helpful. Her last chapters give practical in-put for us to deepen our own spirituality through such spiritual practices as lectio divina, centering prayer, and chanting. I found this book to be most helpful. If you are a progressive Christian you will welcome its insights. If your are a fundamentalist, you will find it most disturbing.
rainermaria63 More than 1 year ago
Abject moral depravity from birth as the problem for which Western Christianity is the answer has never struck me as an accurate naming of the problem. Given the growing number of people drifting away from church and the many more who pay no attention to the church at all, it appears I am not alone. If only we could do a better job naming the problem. Perhaps then we could see Jesus as the one who speaks to that problem in a way that makes him worthy of our deepest devotion of heart and mind. Cynthia Bourgeault offers a wise and articulate naming of the problem that vexes every human being and for which Jesus as the answer makes complete and total sense. The Wisdom Jesus introduces the reader to an understanding of Christianity not familiar to most Western Christians, but one that has always been there, waiting to be rediscovered as the ancient, timeless, refreshingly practical perspective of the Wisdom Tradition of Christianity. The Wisdom Jesus opens our eyes to the problem, to our binary way of viewing the world which, if not made conscious, holds us captive and unable to experience the liberating truth that though we are in the world, we are not of the world. I do believe there is a future for the church and that the time is coming when those who have walked away from the church will be led to take another look. They will discover that Jesus knew us far better than we know ourselves and gave us all we need to enter into the fullness of who we are already in God's eyes. The excellent, very accessible writing and insights of Cynthia Bourgeault gives me totally renewed hope that Western Christianity has a whole other personality that we are going to be delighted and deeply grateful to meet.
lavenderlady2 More than 1 year ago
I am enjoying this book very much. I have read a number of Cynthia's other books and find this one very readable. She expands upon what I learned in a retreat given by Michael Morwood. I am learning more about the Gospel of Thomas and who Jesus really was in his time and what he stood for. Very insightful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ctfranklin28 More than 1 year ago
"The Wisdom Jesus" is an incredible book if you are open to viewing Jesus and his teachings from a different perspective. Bourgeault invites readers to view teachings like The Beatitudes and stories like the "Woman From the Bible" from a wisdom tradition (specifically kenotic) point of view. I had never heard of this tradition, even though I have caught glimpses of it while reading certain texts and in particular, the Gospel of Thomas. The kenotic perspective involves the "emptying" of one's self and desires to become more open to God's will. Bourgeault's book provides a brief journey to explain this perspective through selected Bible verses, reflection, and ends with a book of practices that readers can integrate into their daily lives: Centering Prayer Meditation, Welcoming Prayer, chanting, and more. I chose this book as part of my continuing study into the Gnostic Gospels and various alternative perspectives on Jesus' teachings. The book certainly presented a very unique (emphasis on the unique) way of looking at "traditional" Church doctrine. One really good example of this is the book's definition of "repentance". Traditionally, this is understood as "turning from sin". Bourgeault argues that we should go deeper and points to the Greek term often used for this concept ("metanoia"). In "The Wisdom Jesus", Bourgeault suggests that the term "metanoia" should actually be translated as "go beyond the mind" or go beyond your ego. The emphasis is on the internal (moving away from the pitfalls and obstacles of the self), not the external. It's a very interesting way of looking at Jesus'teaching, which I personally believe can be interpreted in many ways for spiritual progression. While this book was definitely an interesting read, it may not sit well if you are someone who is not open to this "alternate look". Bourgeault does an excellent job of providing an incredibly rich and informative journey with great side trips into various spiritual traditions throughout the whole book. If you are not comfortable learning about chanting or haven't read the The Gospel of Thomas, this book may not be for you. If you have read the Gospel of Thomas or similar literature and wanted to know how integrate some of that teaching into your daily life, this would definitely be the book for you. (Buddhists might also like this book as well.)
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I am blown away! Highly recommend this book
LucyTW More than 1 year ago
still haven't received either books ordered early November for Christams !