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Baker Academic

The Church in an Age of Secular Mysticisms - Print

The Church in an Age of Secular Mysticisms - Print

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The Church in an Age of Secular Mysticisms: Why Spiritualities Without God Fail to Transform Us.

By Andrew Root

Soft cover, 288pp.
ISBN 9781540966735
Baker Academic (2023).

[Allow 4 weeks].

In a secular age that offers a wide range of spiritualities focused on the self and on personal transformation, leading practical theologian Andrew Root shows the difference between these reigning mysticisms and an authentic Christian view of transformation. 

Post-Christian life and society do not eliminate a desire for the transcendent; rather, they create an environment for new and divergent spiritual communities and practices to flourish. We are flooded with spiritualities that appeal to human desires for nonreligious personal transformation. But many fail to deliver because they fall into the trap of the self.

Root shows the differences between these spiritualities and authentic Christian transformation. He explores the dangers of following or adapting these reigning mysticisms and explains why the self has become so important yet so burdened with guilt – and how we should think about both.

To help us understand our confusing cultural landscape, he maps spiritualities using 20 of the best memoirs from 2015 to 2020 in which “secular mystics” promote their mystical and transformational pathways. Root concludes with a more excellent way – even a mysticism centred on the theology of the cross that pastors and leaders can use to form their own imaginations and practices.

“A gifted practical theologian, Root invites us to wrestle with the nature of historical and contemporary mysticism in the Western world so that we might resist a spirituality that essentially ends in the self and respond to the transformative invitation to Christ-centred relationships. Ministry leaders will benefit greatly from Root’s practical wisdom.” Angela Reed, Truett Seminary, Baylor University

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