The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality

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"For teachers and students alike, this volume fills an enormous gap in classroom literature. . . . Howard has successfully met the challenge of writing a first-rate introductory textbook on Christian spirituality."--Kyle Strobel, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care

Christian spirituality is in vogue in the postmodern twenty-first century. Both colleges and seminaries now offer courses--even advanced degrees--on spiritual formation and spiritual disciplines; for this reason, a straightforward, comprehensive textbook is needed. Enter The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality by Evan B. Howard. This book offers a broad-minded approach that covers Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox traditions. In addition, it is interdisciplinary in its approach, drawing from fields such as theology and psychology. What makes this book especially accessible are its chapter outlines and objectives, sidebars, focus boxes, charts, pictures, cartoons, chapter summaries and questions, and glossary. In brief, this work is informative, illuminating, interesting, and ecumenical.


"Evan Howard has written a truly foundational work on Christian spirituality. To answer the question: 'What does relationship with God look like for Christians?' Howard moves systematically through the basic issues that undergird the study and practice of Christian spirituality, illustrating each topic from the breadth of the Christian spiritual tradition. This book will be in the hands of my students as soon as possible!"--Elizabeth Liebert, San Francisco Theological Seminary

"Here is a textbook that makes a new kind of course possible. Even better, it offers the church's wisdom about what makes transformed lives possible. May it turn our seminaries and sanctuaries into schools for conversion and give substance to the next Great Awakening."--Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Free to Be Bound and New Monasticism

"With a unique format and comprehensive approach, The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality is an essential read for all who seek to experience Christian faith and practice it in its fullness."--Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and Streams of Living Water

"Evan Howard has provided us with a clear and comprehensive overview of Christian spirituality. He pays attention to the breadth of Christian spirituality in a way that is fair and at the same time does not leave the reader merely overwhelmed with options. The book is masterfully organized and readers will appreciate the sidebars with charts, summaries, case studies, and a comprehensive glossary. The intention of the book is to provide an overview of Christian spirituality, but the volume contains the elements necessary for a comprehensive program of Christian formation."--James C. Wilhoit, Wheaton College; author of Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered

"Here is a rich quilt work of biblical, theological, and philosophical reflection on the dynamics of the with-God life. Howard's book arguably is the most comprehensive treatment of spirituality from an evangelical perspective in the English language."--Bruce Demarest, Denver Seminary

The Author

  1. Evan B. Howard

    Evan B. Howard

    Evan B. Howard (PhD, Graduate Theological Union) is the founder and director of Spirituality Shoppe: An Evangelical Center for the Study of Christian Spirituality and affiliate associate professor of Christian spirituality at Fuller Theological Seminary. He...

    Continue reading about Evan B. Howard


"This book may be the finest study available on an individual's relationship with God."--Scot McKnight,

"Howard provides a unique, but useful textbook-style introduction to Christian spirituality that is detailed enough to provide beginning students with substantial knowledge and yet broad enough to allow instructors from different perspectives to direct and develop the material in specific ways. . . . While Howard throughout commits himself to an account of the philosophy and psychology of human spiritual experience, his book is impressive in both the diversity of its sources and the sensitivity with which they are expounded. . . . Each chapter begins with an outline and list of learning objectives and ends with a summary, reading recommendations for different aspects covered and questions for reflection. Throughout, there are a number of helpful excurses. . . . The text is likewise dotted with hymns, poems, pictures, icons, illustrations, tables, charts and diagrams that aid visual learners. A glossary and bibliography also enhance the book's utility. . . . Impressively informed, informative, charitable and comprehensive, this is surely among the best textbook introductions to Christian spirituality; it deserves consideration as a text for undergraduate courses on Christian spirituality and the Christian life."--James R. A. Merrick, Theological Book Review

"[This volume] seeks to fill a major lacuna in literature on spiritual formation, namely, an introductory text to the study of Christian spirituality. . . . Howard added several key features designed to illuminate issues, turn abstract understanding into practice, and aid further learning. . . . This book is true to its title: it is an 'introduction.' Therefore, though comprehensive in scope and, at times, impressive in depth, the volume's focus is to establish the tools of Christian spirituality. . . . For teachers and students alike, this volume fills an enormous gap in classroom literature, providing detailed discussion of the major (and necessary) discussions concerning spirituality. . . . Howard has successfully met the challenge of writing a first-rate introductory textbook on Christian spirituality. . . . The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality is one of the few recent volumes that is unequivocally a must own for any person interested in studying or teaching on spiritual formation."--Kyle Strobel, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care

"A comprehensive and ecumenical survey of Christian spirituality."--Ecumenism

"Evan Howard has constructed a college or seminary textbook on spirituality that is thorough in its approach, wide in its scope, and deep in its content. The format that he employed benefits the reader by opening each chapter with effective introductions, outlines, and stated objectives. These are wrapped up by summary statements, study questions, and in-depth suggestions for further reading. Howard provides an application on 'Practicing Christian Spirituality' that is well suited to engage the reader experientially. Sidebars and character profiles interspersed throughout help illustrate how theories of spirituality have been lived out. . . . The strength of Howard's textbook rests on his commitment to explain the systems of thought, theology, psychology, and sociology in the history of Christian spirituality. . . . The Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality is well suited for upperclassmen or for seminarians who have not yet laid a foundation of Christian spirituality."--John R. Miller, Pneuma Review

"This volume is arranged, edited, and printed with superb care. . . . The target student is probably in college or seminary, and clearly the student has been kept in mind on every page. . . . Any textbook in a field of resurging interest like Christian spirituality must treat the primary matters of models and methods of inquiry and analysis. Relevant conclusions drawn from theology, social sciences, and human experience need to be identified, evaluated, and integrated. The author treats such foundational questions with a skill that matches his announced scope required for an introductory textbook. . . . This volume makes a seasoned contribution to the field, one that invites students to participate meaningfully in the continuing conversation about the source, style, and shape of Christian spirituality in our generation."--Nelson D. Kloosterman, Mid-America Journal of Theology

"A readable and well researched contribution to the field."--Edward Howells, The Way

"This handsome, over-sized hardback is truly amazing--very, very interesting. It is remarkably fluent in a wide range of authors and traditions and so is happily very ecumenical while rooted in a broad, evangelical tradition. . . . [Evan Howard] is perfect to compile such a fine work. It is excellent, useful, and the kind of book you'll refer to for a lifetime."--Byron Borger, Hearts & Minds BookNotes blog