A Spirituality Reading List for 2015

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

A friend sent her annual list of the books she read during the year. I always find her list more interesting than mine, and I seem to blow half my book purchase budget soon after reading her list (damn you, Amazon 1-click!). I’ll send her my list soon, although I doubt she’ll add many from my list to her reading pile–mine leaning too much toward the technical and academic.

A Spirituality Reading List by Fives

Someone recently asked me for a reading list of books on spirituality. I’ll start by confessing that coming up with this list was harder than I thought. As is the case with list-making when it comes to books, there are too many good ones that get left out. The purpose of this list, however, is merely to prompt for some directed reading during the year. Here, without commentary, is a spirituality themed reading list for 2015. Choose the titles that intrigue you or meet your needs. Suggest your own!

Five Classics

Augustine, Confessions
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain
Teresa of Avila, The Way of Perfection
Thomas A’Kempis, Of the Imitation of Christ

Five in Fiction

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
Dante, The Divine Comedy
Walter Wangerin, The Book of the Dun Cow

Five in Poetry
Denise Levertov, The Great Unknowing (Last Poems)
Stephen Mitchell, The Enlightened Heart
Robert Atwan & Laurance Wiedre, Chapters Into Verse
Robert Atwan,et al., Divine Instipation: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry
James H Trott and Larry Woiwode, A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century

Five for Novices

Helen Waddel, The Desert Fathers
Philip Sheldrake, Spirituality: A Very Short Introduction
Henry Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus
Morton Kelsey, Companions on the inner way: The art of spiritual guidance
L. Leshn, How to Meditate.

Five for Seekers

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading
M. Robert Mulholland Jr., Invitation to a Journey
Stephen Mitchell, The Enlightened Mind

Five for Skeptics

Marcus J. Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith
Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing: the Search for a Christian Spirituality
Michael Dillon & Paul Wink, In the Course of a Lifetime: Tracing Religious Belief, Practice, and Change
Kenneth J. Collins, Exploring Christian Spirituality
Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

Five for Pragmatists

Ackerman, John. Spiritual Awakening: A Guide to Spiritual Life in Congregations.
Ackerman, John and Alice Mann. Listening to God: Spiritual Formation in the Congregation.
Conn, Walter E. The Desiring Self: Rooting Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction in Self-Transcendence.
Bick, David J. Counselling and Spiritual Direction
Howard Rice, The Pastor as Spiritual Guide.

Five for Spiritual Directors

Anderson, Keith R. and Randy D. Reese. Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction.
Baker, Howard. Soul Keeping: Ancient Paths of Spiritual Direction.
Barry, William A. Spiritual Direction: Recovery of a Tradition.
Caprio, Betsy, and Thomas M. Hedberg. Coming Home: A Manual for Spiritual Direction.
Certain, Robert G. The Spiritual Quest: Christian Spiritual Direction in Twelve Simple Steps: Fourteen Weeks of Spiritual Discipline, Worship, Study, Friendship, Direction.

Five on Celtic Spirituality

J. Philip Newell, Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality
Esther De Waal, The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination
June Skinner Sawyers, Praying with Celtic Saints, Prophets, Martyrs and Poets
Ian Bradley, The Celtic Way
Deborah K. Cronin, Holy Ground

Five on Desert Spirituality

Jason Byassee, An Introduction to the Desert Fathers
John Chryssavgis, In the Heart of the Desert, Revised
Carlo Coretto, Letters from the Desert.
Alan Jones, Soul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality.
C. Belden Lane, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes.

Happy reading!

Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Formerly, he was Dean at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer and Don Reagan.

His books on Christian education include The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice), and A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists.

Galindo contributes to the Wabash Center’s blog for theological school deans and to the Digital Flipchart blog.

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