By Philip Sheldrake

A short heritage of Spirituality tells the tale of Christian spirituality from its origins within the New testomony to the current day.

  • Charts the most figures, rules, photos and old sessions, exhibiting how and why spirituality has replaced and built over the centuries
  • Draws out the targeted topics of Christian spirituality, exploring the old and cultural occasions and reports that modified people’s attitudes and practices
  • Coverage extends correct as much as the fashionable day, exploring the massive adjustments in spirituality in recent times and how it truly is these days usually contrasted with ‘religion’
  • Written via a number one commentator on spirituality, and released within the well known Brief Histories of Religion series

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Sample text

A fundamental framework for understanding Christian spirituality is ‘‘discipleship’’ which implies conversion and following a way of life in the pattern of Jesus Christ. Fourth, consequently, Christian spirituality, when it is true to its foundations, has a positive view of the material world and of the body. Such an approach to spirituality is said to be ‘‘sacramental’’ in the sense that material reality (including our embodied selves and everyday experience and action) is a medium for God’s self-revelation and human encounters with the sacred.

Its emphasis moves in more developed theological directions (which is not to say that the other gospels are not also theological). That is to say that the relationship of Jesus to God – especially the identification of Jesus with a pre-existent Son of God – is more to the foreground than the content of his Foundations: Scriptures and Early Church 19 preaching of the Kingdom. There is a much greater sense of top-down Christology – that is, Jesus is presented as the one sent from heaven by the Father as the definitive expression of God’s love and desire for humanity and creation.

Jesus himself is recorded as affirming this in his reading and commentary on the prophecy of Isaiah at Nazareth (Lk 4, 16–21). The classic New Testament themes of conversion and a life of following Jesus are also present in Luke but with the additional twist that those most likely to respond are ‘‘the poor’’ – that is those who are in some way marginal, physically, socially, or spiritually (Lk 6, 20–26). Luke–Acts also spells out the universality of Jesus’ message and God’s salvation by highlighting in the Acts of the Apostles the role of the apostles, the Church, and most importantly the Holy Spirit who guides the community of Jesus and guarantees the spread of the gospel ‘‘to the ends of the earth’’ (Acts 1, 8).

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