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

By Philip Sheldrake

A quick 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 old sessions, displaying how and why spirituality has replaced and constructed over the centuriesDraws out the distinct issues of Christian spirituality, exploring the historic and cultural occasions and reviews that modified people’s attitudes and practicesCoverage extends correct as much as the fashionable day, exploring the massive adjustments in spirituality lately and how it really is these days usually contrasted with ‘religion’Written through a number one commentator on spirituality, and released within the renowned short Histories of faith sequence

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Wisdom of the Desert The earliest sources for the spiritual wisdom of Christian monasticism were either lives of the great founders (for example, Athanasius’ Life of St Antony) or collections of sayings and anecdotes about monks. The sayings and stories were gathered mainly from the hermits of Lower Egypt or from the groups at Nitria and Scetis. These were passed on in oral fashion and later written down (the Apophthegmata Patrum) during the fifth century. 5 These writings record a period of informality.

2006 10:32am and only one major collection of sayings in discourse form (Chapter 13). In that sense, Jesus’ own life is the primary parable and provides basic teaching about the nature of the Kingdom of God. So, discipleship, as it was for the first followers, is a question of ‘‘being with’’ Jesus in his mission. At the heart of Mark’s presentation is the cross. Jesus is the suffering Messiah. Jesus’ actions, healings, and teaching can only be understood in the light of the cross. It is therefore not surprising that the Gospel also emphasizes a secrecy surrounding Jesus’ identity and the failure of the disciples to understand him.

9 The greatest teachers of wisdom in the desert were the monk’s cell and the spiritual father or mother. The action of staying in the cell, even when bored, frustrated, and tempted was both a practical discipline and a spiritual symbol. Practically, the cell provided the necessary silence, solitude, and absence of external distraction for prolonged prayer. Symbolically, the simplicity of the cell represented a shedding of worldly possessions and staying put represented the value of stability and endurance as the foundations for the inward journey.

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