Title: Sacred Systems
Publisher: Pickwick Publications
From early Jewish-Christian texts such as the Didache, which present well-defined catechetical programs, to contemporary authors such as Dallas Willard, who offer in-depth insights into the transformations of one's heart and soul, systematic texts on spiritual formation in the Western Christian tradition abound. These texts can offer ministers, researchers, and laypersons much clarity and guidance for their craft. However, the spiritual formation systems that we use are also always contextually influenced; such contextual factors may make them difficult to adapt to one's local work. Rather than turning to only a single text or community, then, it can be helpful for practitioners and theorists to look to a broader set of systematic presentations of spiritual formation. By turning to a group of specific individuals and communities in each era of Western Christian history, this book will help those working in this field to better understand how personal spiritual formation has been conceptualized and embodied. Such an exploration will help us not only to compile a more complete history of spiritual formation at the level of the individual but also to glean a better understanding of personal transformation so that we might engage this craft in more informed and systematic ways.