Dallas Willard Center Book and Research Award Finalist
Hearts Minds Bookstore's Best Books, Spirituality and the Devotional Life
"This is a book written specifically for those of us who are assigned the task of developing an imagination for living the Christian faith with insight and skill in and for a society that is disconnected from the biblical revelation and the Jesus incarnation," writes Eugene Peterson in the foreword of The Cultivated Life. "But it is equally useful for all of us who are committed to following Jesus with our families and coworkers and neighbors."
Sociology professor and spiritual director Susan Phillips walks us through the "circus" of our cultural landscape to invite us into a cultivated life of spirituality. If we want to accept the invitation to return to the garden, then we must face down the temptation to live life as spectators of the circus that plays on around us. We want to be rooted and grounded in Christ, but are pushed toward constant work, alternating between performance and spectacle. Cultivation requires a kind of attentiveness that is countercultural to our age of distraction. These pages unfold the spiritual practices that can lead us into a new and delightful way of living. Are you ready to leave the circus?
Susan S. Phillips (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is executive director and professor of sociology and Christianity at New College Berkeley, where she previously served as academic dean. She is a sociologist and trained spiritual director who also serves as supervisor for spiritual directors and consultant for Christian organizations. Drawing insight from the diverse fields of the social sciences, biblical spirituality, and practical theology, Phillips has authored books such as the award-winning The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions and Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction. In addition to lecturing internationally and leading retreats for churches and organizations, Phillips also teaches at Regent College (Canada), Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She sits on the editorial boards of Radix and Presence magazines and the journal Reflective Practice.