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Description: This book is a study of the Christian life and the practice of Christians and the church from an Anglican perspective. It begins with an analysis and explication of the structure and process of the Christian life before God in the church and the world involving a five-fold rule of life and the relation of this to spiritual direction. This is followed by an analysis and critique of the current spirituality movement, which arose in the 1970s and which has come to dominate and mislead the churches. A sequel to the latter explains the origin of the spirituality movement in the current Romantic movement that arose in the 1960s and has influenced all aspects of our culture with ambiguous results. Next there is a critique of contemporary parish ministry as practiced in residential parishes that at best ministers only to the private lives of its members, followed by a fictional story of such a residential parish that suggests a new departure in parish ministry. Then there is a critique of preaching in the Episcopal Church that is generally considered to be poor, and a proposal of a way to overcome this. The concluding three chapters treat a fundamental problem in our approach to private prayer and a way to resolve this, a proposal for a way to overcome the current impasse in the Anglican Communion concerning homosexuality, and a meditation on the responsibility of Christians in public life. Endorsements: ""Owen Thomas is a prophet, in the biblical sense of the word, calling a community to examine its way of life and look to the rock from which it was quarried. His book is progressive, at times radical, precisely because it is rooted in the best of a tradition he knows as well as anyone. The scope of these essays is remarkable-from philosophical theology to parish administration-with a solid center in the life of the Spirit, lived amid the perplexities of history."" -Charles Hefling, Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College ""What Owen Thomas has to say about Christian life and practice will delight many, confound others, and challenge all of us to think more critically about things that matter. This is a distinctively Anglican voice crying out on behalf of embodied spirituality, political engagement, and prophetic ministry."" -Arthur Holder, John Dillenberger Professor of Christian Spirituality, Graduate Theological Union ""In this legacy of his years as theological reflector on Christian life, Owen Thomas, in his own creative way, articulates the persistent insistence of the Bible and Anglican tradition that faith and practice, truth and action have been so joined together by God that they must never be put asunder. Well worth reading and pondering."" -Harvey H. Guthrie, Former Dean and Professor of Old Testament, Episcopal Divinity School About the Contributor(s): Owen C. Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Theology of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the author of eight previous books in theology and the philosophy of religion. A former physicist, he has been a visiting professor at the Gregorian University and the North American College in Rome, an adjunct professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and past president of the American Theological Society.
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