Christian belief can be understood neither entirely through doctrine nor entirely apart from it. Doctrine is the starting point, the seed of faith, from which springs forth flourishing life in the fellowship of the church. But that growth occurs only when theology and spirituality are held together in a relation of reciprocal influence.
With decades of combined experience in both the church and the academy, Mark McIntosh and Frank Griswold prioritize the life-giving relationship between theology and spirituality in this immersive introduction to the Christian faith. Drawing inspiration and guidance from Christianity’s greatest mystical theologians—including Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Catherine of Siena—McIntosh and Griswold unfold essential doctrines and illuminate the transformative power of Christian belief. The result is a book that propels readers beyond abstract knowledge to an experience of the living mystery who is God.
Table of Contents
Introduction: As We Begin 1. The Hidden Presence of God in All Things 2. Faith and Fear 3. Revelation 4. The Mystery of the Trinity 5. Creation 6. Suffering and Evil 7. Jesus as the Incarnate Word 8. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus 9. Salvation 10. Grace and Human Flourishing 11. The Church and the Sacramental Life 12. The Spirit of Prayer 13. Death and the Life to Come 14. The Communion of Saints and Mary
Mark A. McIntosh (1960–2021) was an Episcopal priest and theologian who was the inaugural holder of Loyola University Chicago's endowed chair in Christian spirituality. He served previously as the Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University and canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral, UK. McIntosh was the author or editor of several books on the interrelationship of theology and spirituality, including Mystical Theology, Discernment and Truth, The Oxford Handbook of Mystical Theology, and The Divine Ideas Tradition in Christian Mystical Theology.
Frank T. Griswold is the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (1998–2006). During his years as Presiding Bishop, he served as cochair of the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission and as a member of various ecumenical and interfaith boards and institutes. He continues to teach, write, lead retreats, and exercise a ministry of spiritual direction both nationally and internationally. His other books include Going Home: An Invitation to Jubilee, Praying Our Days: A Guide and Companion, and Tracking Down the Holy Ghost: Reflections on Love and Longing.
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