The Arc of Spirituality invites readers on a journey through Western history, a journey that begins with the pioneering concepts of ancient Israelites, who understood spirituality communally and covenantally. Continuing biblically with wisdom and apocalyptic conceptions, The Arc of Spirituality examines Western Christian spirituality as it developed historically through twelve phases, culminating in the modern period with ethical, ecumenical, pluralist, and ecological expressions, and most recently, with postmodern secular alternatives.
Having described his own journey in previous volumes, in this culminating book Vande Kappelle builds on earlier writings such as Response to the Other, The Second Journey, and The Church Alumni Association to tell the story of the Western world's unfolding love affair with God. The narrative, while continuously inspiring, necessarily takes us through dark alleys and down deep rabbit holes in spirituality's never-ending quest to know and experience the transcendence around us and within.
The goal of spirituality is always God, and while God makes the journey interesting, it is never easy, for there are no clear steps to follow or learn. While spirituality is more caught than taught, at some point we discover it is more about unlearning than learning, enriched more by subtraction than by addition. The Arc of Spirituality is useful for individual or group study. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion or reflection.