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Spirituality & History: Questions of Interpretation and Method Paperback – July 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; 2 edition (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570752036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570752032
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Boenzi on February 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Philip Sheldrake's volume on "spirituality and history" is nearly 10 years old. The books is now in its second, revised edition. Although the topic is treated scientifically, the text is easy enough for those who come to theology as "beginners."
This volume disputes the typical approach of many "histories of spirituality" that try to see all trends and traditions as developing from earlier forms. Sheldrake traces a number of spiritual traditions (ascetic and mystic journeys, if you like) over 2000 years of Christianity. He shows that, while some traditions developed into schools, which in turn evolved over the centuries, others were confined to particular times and places. Some "spiritual paths" became trendy, others remained the cherished heritage of small groups of elite. This is an interesting thesis.
This is all a question of method. If one tries to "survey" history with a modern mind-set, then even religious history demands that newer forms be shown as "progress" over older styles and insights. In this post-modern period, bigger is not necessarily better, and newer is not necessarily "improved." Following Sheldrakes method, the Christian reader is invited to reflect that are many ways to respond to the Gospel call to discipleship.
Philip Sheldrake is associate editor of "The Way". Much of the material in this book began as articles in that journal. His later book, "Spirituality and Theology" (Orbis 1998), is a good sequel.
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