The Shape of Living, 2nd Edition

Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life

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In our culture of distraction it can be hard to focus on spiritual matters. Work, finances, and uncertain futures are just a few things that overwhelm us daily. Discover how to develop an everyday spirituality that will guide your actions and bring meaning to your hectic life. 



"This rich and suggestive book invites reflection upon and practice of Christian faith in a hostile environment. Ford understands that in a 'culture of distraction,' we may indeed be overwhelmed. But then he takes the thought of 'being overwhelmed' and suggests that it is the inscrutable mystery of God that may overwhelm us with new life. Supported by the gritty rhetoric of Michael O'Saidhail, Ford provides a way beyond distraction to joy and buoyancy. As in his previous work, here he violates all our usual categories to make something new and valuable for us. This is no 'head trip,' but an exercise of faith with a powerful, effective dimension."--Walter Brueggemann, professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

"In his marvelous book, The Shape of Living, David Ford 'tames the terror of being alive,' as Ernest Becker once put it, with an eloquence that contours the overwhelming experiences of life into meaningful and managable shape under the discipline of grace and wisdom. Reading this book is indeed a feast which nourishes the soul and stirs the spirit. In a word, it is overwhelming! Amidst the glut of books on the devotional life which seek to be relevant and are only contemporary, this book is already a classic on the 'spirituality of everyday life.' I could hardly put it down and will return to it again and again."--Ray Anderson, professor of Theology and Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Ford may have accomplished the impossible--that is, he has written a wise book about spirituality in a time when everything written about spirituality is at best silly, stupid, or just wrong. The Shape of Living is a wise book that concentrates on the principle aspects of our lives that we so often get wrong because we lack wisdom. Ford helps us imagine how the overwhelmings that so fate us in modernity can be overwhelmed by the joy of resurrection."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

"What's extraordinary about this book is that, while written at a popular level, it never 'dumbs down' and never descends into pious chatter. Its spirituality is profound and reflective, yet always concrete, and never dishonest or evasive; it uses not only Scripture but literature with creative facility. Simple, yet rich. A jewel of the spiritual life in its everyday manifestations. I want to savor it with repeated readings."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School

"In this wonderful book, David Ford addresses with great insight and wisdom a fundamental challenge facing us: coping with the multiple overwhelmings of our lives. He does so by showing how the shape of Christian living is nourished by the overwhelmingly abundant love of God. These reflections ought to be read by laity and clergy alike, for they offer the spiritual renewal we desperately need."--L. Gregory Jones, dean and professor of theology, Duke University Divinity School

"A lovely, wise book that brings theology to life."--Kathryn Tanner, associate professor of theology, University of Chicago Divinity School

The Author

  1. David F. Ford

    David F. Ford

    David F. Ford (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, England, and a Fellow of Selwyn College. His publications include Meaning and Truth in 2 Corinthians (with Frances Young),...

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