Paul’s spiritual journey is driven by a transforming encounter with the risen Lord. In A Window into the Spirituality of Paul, Patrick J. Hartin focuses on the spiritual vision that emerges in Paul’s own personal response to Christ, found within his letters in the New Testament. Not only were early followers shaped by Paul’s example, but throughout history many saints and sinners have given flesh to this rich spiritual tradition. Their witness is an integral part of how Hartin helps us explore key aspects of Paul’s spirituality.
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Patrick J. Hartin is an ordained priest of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington. He presently teaches courses in the New Testament and in Classical Civilizations at Gonzaga University. He is a contributor to Give Us This Day and the author of numerous books, published by Liturgical Press, including: A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James, James (Sacra Pagina series), James of Jerusalem: Heir to Jesus of Nazareth (Interfaces series), James, First Peter, Jude, Second Peter (New Collegeville Bible Commentary series), Apollos (Paul's Social Network series), and Exploring the Spirituality of the Gospels.Review:
In his newest book, Patrick Hartin guides us through an often challenging but ultimately rewarding look at the spirituality of Paul. Through a deeper understanding of this early believer's life and experience, we see it as a model for four later-day Christians and for us as well. With such guides as these, and as ‘partners with Paul in grace’, our spiritual lives can only be enriched.
Judy Gritzmacher, Oratory Center for Spirituality, Rock Hill, South Carolina
A Window into the Spirituality of Paul is no small peephole into the Apostle. It is, in fact, a large picture window that illuminates the central elements of Paul’s spirituality in ways that will be helpful to many people, especially to college students and lay Bible study groups. Consistent with his perspective that the essence of biblical spirituality includes both spiritual vision and everyday response to that vision, he develops a Pauline spirituality that attends to the individual’s relationship with Christ while also showing how that relationship can become a pattern for living. An important contribution of the study is the accessible, balanced, and clear way he states and explores Paul’s theology—and always with focus on the actual words of Paul. His emphases on the cross and resurrection, the transforming power of grace, faith and good works, the church as the Body of Christ, and humility allow him to write a ‘mini-theology’ of Paul that provides the basis for contemporary spirituality. In the final chapter he pulls everything together with four powerful examples of people who believed and lived with Paul’s spirituality at the center of their lives.
Rev. Walter F. Taylor, Jr., Ernest W. and Edith S. Ogram Professor of New Testament Studies, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio
A Window into the Spirituality of Paul is an excellent and stimulating synthetic presentation of Paul and his spirituality. Fr. Patrick Hartin’s perceptive guide to Paul’s spirituality treats of major aspects Paul’s spiritual vision that are indispensable for Christian life in Christ and his community of faith: the decisive significance of the cross and resurrection; God’s transforming grace; faith in Christ; humanity renewed in Christ; a community oriented spirituality, lived in expectation of the end times. Hartin concludes his valuable study by showing how the four foundational pillars of Pauline spirituality—a new creation through the cross and resurrection of Christ, the transforming power of grace, the gift of faith and the response of good works; and the community of believers as the body of Christ—hold importance in our spirituality today.
John Navone, SJ, Emeritus Professor of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome
Patrick Hartin ably reaches into the Pauline letters and illuminates the significant facets of Paul’s life in Christ. Readers will come away with a fresh appreciation of a way of living the gospel that has influenced every generation of Christians across the world. The grace and freedom Paul experienced in learning to live in Christ is also explored in a sampling of Christian witnesses who embody the power of the cross and resurrection, the transforming effect of grace, the unmerited gift of faith, and the value of a community of believers bound together in Christ. Perceptive and refreshing.”
Cackie Upchurch, Director, Little Rock Scripture Study
Patrick Hartin is one of those rare scholars who can share the fruits of critical study of the biblical text with lay readers in such a way as to maintain the richness and depth of his scholarship in genuinely consequential ways for the religious life and imagination of readers. And in this book he is at his best in that role.
Rob Kugler, Paul S. Wright Professor of Christian Studies, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
Those who found valuable insights from Fr. Hartin’s Exploring the Spirituality of the Gospels will also find great value in this study of Paul. Following a somewhat similar format of this earlier book, Hartin continues to demonstrate how a greater understanding of the contexts within which Paul wrote allows modern readers better insights into how biblical texts might be best utilized by contemporary audiences. These insights would especially apply to those who have questions about Paul's Mediterranean life or are interested in examples of more recent lives that continue to sustain Paul's early examples from the Christian tradition.
Ken Stenstrup, Assistant Professor of Theology, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
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