A Brief History of Spirituality (Blackwell Brief Histories by Philip Sheldrake

By Philip Sheldrake

A short background of Spirituality tells the tale of Christian spirituality from its origins within the New testomony to the current day.Charts the most figures, principles, photographs and ancient classes, exhibiting how and why spirituality has replaced and constructed over the centuriesDraws out the unique subject matters of Christian spirituality, exploring the old and cultural occasions and stories that modified people’s attitudes and practicesCoverage extends correct as much as the trendy day, exploring the massive adjustments in spirituality lately and how it truly is these days usually contrasted with ‘religion’Written by means of a number one commentator on spirituality, and released within the well known short Histories of faith sequence

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Extra resources for A Brief History of Spirituality (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)

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So, for example, They said of Sarah that for thirteen years she was fiercely attacked by the demon of lust. ’’8 Mature desert ascetics, such as Sarah, did not pray to be relieved from temptations – indeed, sometimes they even asked their spiritual guide to pray that temptation continue because they believed that struggle had a spiritual value in itself. A second, related theme is asceticism. The word itself comes from the Greek aske¯sis, training – hence the athletic images in the story. Asceticism in its proper sense does not imply an anti-body attitude.

The wilderness (desert, mountain, forest, or sea) has exercised a peculiar fascination throughout Christian history. One of the fundamental features of Christian monasticism is that it demands withdrawal. Why were physical deserts chosen for monastic communities? The theme of the ‘‘desert’’ is common to many monastic texts. It is both a paradise, where people may live in harmony with wild animals, and at the same time a place of trial where ascetics encounter inner and outer demons. The desert is frontier territory.

9 Origen Origen of Alexandria (c. 185–c. 2006 10:32am of desire for union, through contemplation and through a mystical exegesis of the Christian scriptures. Basing himself on the classic Neoplatonist three-fold hierarchy of existence and knowledge, Origen suggested both a three-fold contemplative model of scripture interpretation (literal, moral, and spiritual) and a three-fold ascending pattern for spiritual progress associated with beginners (praxis), proficients (theo¯ria), and the perfect (theologia).

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