Download PDF by Philip Sheldrake: A Brief History of Spirituality (Blackwell Brief Histories

By Philip Sheldrake

ISBN-10: 1405117702

ISBN-13: 9781405117708

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, pictures and historic sessions, displaying how and why spirituality has replaced and constructed over the centuriesDraws out the specified subject matters of Christian spirituality, exploring the ancient and cultural occasions and reports that modified people’s attitudes and practicesCoverage extends correct as much as the trendy day, exploring the massive alterations in spirituality in recent times and how it's these days frequently 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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Yet even here the movement remained essentially a lay one. The reasons for the emergence of monastic life in Egypt include local factors. There was a major economic crisis in third- and fourth-century Egypt and this may have driven numbers of people to seek alternative lifestyles away from the cities. However, in the case of St Antony (died c. 356), who came to be known as the ‘‘father of monasticism,’’ the famous Life by Athanasius of Alexandria suggests that the inspiration was purely spiritual.

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). The spiritual journey was conceived as a recovery of the likeness of God in the soul in a movement upwards from the material realm towards greater light.

The goal of ascetical discipline was a properly directed rather than a fragmented life. 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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A Brief History of Spirituality (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion) by Philip Sheldrake


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