It’s been about six months since the release of Teaching for Spiritual Formation, and I’ve been very pleased with initial interest in the book! As I anticipated, teachers and administrators in classical Christian schools have resonated the most with the book, but it’s been great to see other groups engage with the book’s ideas as well. The book hit “#1 New Release” status in “Adult Christian Ministry” on Amazon.com for a couple of days around its release, so many thanks to everyone who bought a copy.
This summer I had the privilege of (virtually) sitting down with David I. Smith, director of the Kuyers Institute at Calvin University and author of the book’s foreword, to discuss Teaching for Spiritual Formation on his “Faith in Teaching” podcast. You can check out the episode here or wherever you get your podcasts.
One theme of the book, the role of asceticism in Christian education, was in need of expanded treatment beyond what it received in Teaching for Spiritual Formation, and so I wrote an article for the International Journal of Christianity and Education titled “Teaching Ascesis: Recovering the Neglected Center of Early Christian Pedagogy.” You can download it here with institutional log-in; otherwise, the abstract gives a sense of what the article is about:
This article aims to recover the foundational importance of training in ascesis for Christian education. For early Christian pedagogues such as Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom, education was seen not so much as the transmission of information as it was an invitation to a life of virtue and faith; to this end they especially encouraged teaching that would promote an ascetical lifestyle and therefore greater communion with God. By examining two key patristic texts connecting pedagogy and asceticism, this article outlines an approach that can enable modern Christian teachers to engage their students with ascetical practices that will contribute to their spiritual formation and counter-cultural witness.
There will be some more media related to Teaching for Spiritual Formation coming out later this year; I will post again when it becomes available. In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, be sure to get one! And, if you have read it, know that a review and/or a rating on sites like Amazon can go a long way to helping with the book’s discoverability, so if you haven’t left one yet, please consider doing so. Many thanks!