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Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life Paperback – April 19, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marjorie Thompson is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and director of the Pathways Center for Christian Spirituality at The Upper Room in Nashville, TN.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664229476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664229474
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the author states in her Introduction, this book is primarily experiential and interactive. As such, it is highly usable in both form and function.

The book is DESIGNED with wide margins containing quotations that illuminate the text, questions to contemplate, suggestions for written reflection, and space enough to scribble ones notes.

The CONTENT treats eight disciplines: spiritual reading, praying, worshiping, fasting, examination of conscience, spiritual guidance, hospitality and developing a "rule of life". Thompson concentrates on one practice per chapter, and includes historical, theological, and biblical references, along with practical exercises to "learn" the discipline. Chapters vary in length (13-20 pages) and end with Footnotes. An Annotated Biliography and Group Study Guide complete the book; both are excellent.

The author provides strong, gentle guidance in a voice that is clear and direct. Her approach is inclusive of all Christians, transcending liturgical and dogmatic differences. This ecumenical approach is evident in quotations and works cited.

Another reviewer described Soul Feast as "a watered-down version" of Richard Foster's *Celebration of Discipline. I understand this reviewer's passion for Foster's book; it's excellent and well-written. I use both Celebration and Soul Feast to help guide my spiritual formation. They both cover many of the same disciplines, but treat them differently. And though there are differences, Soul Feast is not derivitive. (For the record, Soul Feast is not "full of footnotes to Foster"; of 92 footnotes, 6 note Foster) Foster includes chapters on simplicity, solitude, submission and service -- each treated separately -- while Thompson integrates them with other practices.
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Format: Paperback
Countless books have been written on Christian spirituality from a theological, intellectual and historical perspective. All of them have strengths which deepens our appreciation of spirituality. Spirituality, however, is to be lived and practiced in the lives of believers. Thus these books fall short in emphasizing spiritual practice. Soul Feast corrects this by inviting the reader to enter the spiritual through the practice of the spiritual disciplines. It is through these disciplines that we can live out a spiritual life. This is a balanced text which thouroughly integrates theory and practice with a greater emphasis on the latter. Protestants, whose background doesn't include the spiritual discipline will be greatful in rediscovering them. Spiritual direction and hospitality are just a few of them discussed in this valuable work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will give this book 5 stars for one chapter alone. Much of what one finds in this book may be found in other locations. However, the last chapter contains the clearest teaching I've ever read on developing a personal Rule of Life. If all of the other pages were blank, this book would be worth the money and worth 5 stars.
Of course, the rest of the pages are not blank. I found myself highlighting many passages.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Soul Feast is one of the few books I've had to read for a class that really captured and held my interest. I loved it so much I didn't sell it back at the end of the semester. It is wonderful for someone like me who wants to explore a deeper prayer life but is afraid to or doesn't know quite how to go about it. With this book, it becomes easy to explore many different kinds of prayer. I found it to be richly fulfilling, and it is good for reading over and over.
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Format: Paperback
This clearly written and beautifully designed book is an accessible and nourishing guide to spiritual growth. It is an excellent beginner's manual but also has much to offer the more experienced reader. Even its format and layout carry the message that the Christian spiritual life can be graceful, diverse, inviting, and edible in small bites or big chunks, at one's own pace.
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Format: Paperback
This is a warm inviting discussion about the spiritual life and spiritual disciplines, which is ecumenical in nature. The format of the book is easy to read and in lay language for the most part. Compared to Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline, Soul Feast is user friendly and does not read like a research paper out of academia. It is a wonderful book!
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Format: Kindle Edition
In Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, Marjorie J. Thompson, an ordained Presbyterian minister and director of the Pathways Center for Christian Spirituality, provides a compact and well organized exploration into seven significant disciplines of the spiritual life. Originally published in 1995, the 2005 edition contains the original Foreword from her spiritual mentor, the late Henri J. M. Nouwen, and a new Prologue that does well to humbly explain both the success of her title and the movement toward increased spiritual awareness in today's culture.

Marjorie notes her purpose "is to help people of faith understand and begin to practice some of the basic disciplines of the Christian spiritual life...(with the aim of engaging the) mind and heart together in seeking nourishment for our spiritual hunger." She also intends for her work to be "used, not simply read" and offers suggestions on how to work through the subject matter in an intimate and meditative fashion.
Soul Feast is divided into nine chapters; the first and last chapters serve as wonderful book ends, with the former introducing the disciplines and the latter providing counsel on how to apply the seven basic spiritual disciplines of her work, which are: Spiritual Reading, Prayer, Worship, Fasting, Self-examination/confession/awareness, Spiritual Direction, and Hospitality. The bookend chapters, The Spiritual Yearning of our Time and Developing a Rule of Life, package this book into one of the most important expositions I have read on maintaining an intentionally, spiritually directed life amid a growing society of increased stress and non-spiritual preoccupation.
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