Item description for Christian Spirituality, Vol. 1: Origins to the Twelfth Century (World Spirituality, Vol. 16) by Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorf & Jean LeClercq...
Overview Essays in this volume discuss the early history of the church, gnostic spirituality, monasticism, the great fathers, soteriology, the Trinity, anthropology, grace, Christian art, the sacraments, prayer, and spiritual guidance.
Publishers Description Essays in this volume discuss the early history of the church, gnostic spirituality, monasticism, the great fathers, sosteriology, the Trinity, anthropology, grace, Christian art, the sacraments, prayer and spiritual guidance.
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Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.2" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.46" Weight: 1.6 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1987
Publisher Herder & Herder
Series World Spirituality
ISBN 0824508475 ISBN13 9780824508470
Availability 0 units.
More About Bernard McGinn, John Meyendorf & Jean LeClercq
Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He is the author of Anti-Christ, Early Christian Mystics, The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism, and The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart. He lives in Chicago.
Bernard McGinn currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois. Bernard McGinn was born in 1937.
Bernard McGinn has published or released items in the following series...
Classics of Western Spirituality (Hardcover)
Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
Encyclopedia of Apocalypticism (Paperback)
Growth of Mysticism
Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
Presence of God
Presence of God
Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism
Reviews - What do customers think about Christian Spirituality, Vol. 1: Origins to the Twelfth Century (World Spirituality, Vol. 16)?
Exquisite Mar 20, 2003
This is the only book that I have ever read that I would give 6 stars to if I could; the amount of depth that this book has really is quite fantastic. And, what is more, this volume is the first of three volumes, so if one desires to read the entire set, one will have not only a historical understanding of Christianity, but a real insight into the Christian worldview - a real insight into the heart of Christianity.
The way that this volume is divided up is worth noting: the first part deals with more historical and sociological data - movements and the like - while the second section deals with the spiritual insights and understandings of different people at different times. Both sections complement each other quite well. Furthermore, within each section focus is made upon both the Eastern and Western traditions so that one gets a more rounded picture of Christianity.
It is nice, too, to notice the illustrations in the book. Although they are not in color, they are attractive and worth a second and third look. Such illustrations certainly help to portray various Christian understandings just as well as the essays do. After all, " a picture is worth a thousand words."
The essay on Gnosticism is especially worth noting, as it seeks to answer the question of whether Gnosticism is a legitimate expression of the Christian faith. The answer - which is negative - is given in a genuinely thoughtful way, where both similarities and differences are noted. Gnostic scholars of Gnosticism (such as Elaine Pagels) oftentimes do not really appreciate the real differences that existed between Gnosticism and proto-Orthodox Christianity. This essay does a fine job of surveying those differences.
The other essays in this collection are all first rate; the essay entitled "The Spiritual Message of the Great Fathers" is a well written survey of some of the 4th and 5th century Church Fathers. The essay comparing Eastern and Western views on the Trinity is also illuminating, especially since it shows that what has long been fought over between the East and the West (since Photios, in particular - see below) may not be so important.
The only thing that I would have done differently would have been to add an actual essay about the Photian schism - a schism in the ninth century that was led by an Eastern bishop named Photios. The accusations leveled against the Roman Church by Photios are still repeated today; Photios is a saint in the Eastern church but considered a heretic in the Western church. More information on this development and its ramifications for Eastern Orthodox spirituality would have been welcome.
In the end, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who has any desire to learn about the Christian faith in both the East and West during Christianity's first millenia. For both the scholar and the layperson, it is a valuable reference guide, sketching out some of the more prominent contours of Christian spirituality.