Serious spiritual seekers will find much to engage them in The Search for Spirituality. Ursula King, Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol, offers a wide-ranging discussion of the spiritual life, which she defines broadly as a "life that cultivates wisdom, compassion, and love for the sake of other people's lives and one's own." Her book is important for its emphasis on global spirituality (the life of spirit as it is manifested in widely disparate cultures around the world); on the social dimensions of true spirituality; and on nature as the "divine milieu" within which human beings "may become divinized."
With Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, King shares an understanding of the noosphere—the sphere of human interthought and interaction, of spirit and spiritualization—that may transform the universe from matter to spirit. Her connection with Chardin gives her book a depth and vitality that sets it apart from other theological studies. I especially appreciated her thoughtful distinction between the practices of ascetic/monastic and "householder spirituality" (p. 29), in which spirit is manifested in a day-to-day attention to family, work, and community.
The book includes notes and a very helpful resource section. Recommended for Comparative Religion collections.
Ursula King is an internationally known theological scholar. The author and editor of many books, including Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin, she lectures widely throughout the world.
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