The Age of the Spirit

How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church

Cover Art

Where to Purchase

About

"Reading this pair of veteran authors is like being invited as a freshman into the office of an admired professor and then being brought up to speed like a colleague."--Publishers Weekly


A thousand years ago, Christianity experienced a time of tremendous upheaval called the Great Schism. One faith became two churches, East and West, and the course of world history was forever changed. It all swirled around one Latin word in the Nicene Creed, filioque, that indicated the Holy Spirit proceeded both from God the Father "and from the Son." From the time that phrase was officially instituted in the West, the Holy Spirit's place in the Trinity and role in the lives of believers would be fiercely debated, with ramifications being felt through the centuries to this very day.

In this book you will encounter not just the fascinating historical realities that have shaped our faith today but also the present resurgence of interest in the Holy Spirit seen in many churches across the theological spectrum. Tickle and Sweeney are apt and engaging teachers, making accessible and relevant the forces behind the current upheaval in the church, then leading you confidently into the Age of the Spirit.

"Like most Christians, I live in a state of denial about the Trinity. Since I cannot explain it, I do not think about it very much. After reading this book, I cannot stop thinking about it. If you want to know more about what is happening to Christian faith and why--and if you are also willing to discover what it means to love God with your whole mind--this is the book for you."--Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark

"If we were all students, and Phyllis Tickle and Jon Sweeney were our history teachers, we'd all be passionate about understanding our past. If they were our theology teachers, we'd all be fascinated to more deeply contemplate the Trinity in the present. And if they were our spiritual directors, we'd be turning our hearts, day by day, to being more guided and empowered by the Spirit to move joyfully into the future. Here is a book that instructs and delights, so this bright possibility can become a reality."--Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist (brianmclaren.net)

"Attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, which this book has in spades, will surely be a hallmark of the next epoch of Christianity. Herein, the ancient and the postmodern walk down the aisle, wedded once and for all."--Tony Jones, theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch and editor of Phyllis Tickle: Evangelist of the Future (tonyj.net)

"Take and read. You will understand why God the Spirit is again brooding over the face of the muddy waters of a church that has forgotten where it came from, where it is going, and to Whom it belongs."--Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers, Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at Oklahoma City University; author of The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

"This book is simultaneously rich in scholarship and personally accessible as it explores the nature of spirit with an eye to the enormous challenges of our time. I found it both thought-provoking and moving."--T. M. Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back

Phyllis Tickle (1934-2015) was founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly. One of the most respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today, she was the author of more than two dozen books, including The Great Emergence and Emergence Christianity.

Jon M. Sweeney is an independent scholar and the author of twenty books, including the remarkably timely The Pope Who Quit. He is known for his ability to take complicated religious history and make it accessible and fascinating to non-specialists. He is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Paraclete Press and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his family.


Endorsements

"Phyllis Tickle--this time ably assisted by Jon M. Sweeney--continues to document the emergence of a new church, and always with a keen eye to what's gone before. Attentiveness to the Holy Spirit, which this book has in spades, will surely be a hallmark of the next epoch of Christianity. Herein, the ancient and the postmodern walk down the aisle, wedded once and for all."

Tony Jones (tonyj.net), theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch and editor of Phyllis Tickle: Evangelist of the Future

"If we were all students, and Phyllis Tickle and Jon Sweeney were our history teachers, we'd all be passionate about understanding our past. If they were our theology teachers, we'd all be fascinated to more deeply contemplate the Trinity in the present. And if they were our spiritual directors, we'd be turning our hearts, day by day, to being more guided and empowered by the Spirit to move joyfully into the future. Here is a book that instructs and delights, so this bright possibility can become a reality."

Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist (brianmclaren.net)

"When two scholars as eminent as Phyllis Tickle and Jon Sweeney team up to write a book about the most dangerous leg of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, I would offer a simple but sincere directive: take and read. You will understand why the Great Emergence is indeed upon us, and why God the Spirit is again brooding over the face of the muddy waters of a church that has forgotten where it came from, where it is going, and to Whom it belongs."

Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers, senior minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC, Oklahoma City; Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at Oklahoma City University; and author of The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus

"To read Phyllis Tickle is to engage thoughtfully with the fundamental question of religion: what is God and how can a mere human recognize God's presence within the world's noisy clamor? This book is simultaneously rich in scholarship and personally accessible as it explores the nature of spirit with an eye to the enormous challenges of our time. I found it both thought-provoking and moving."

T. M. Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back

"Like most Christians, I live in a state of denial about the Trinity. Since I cannot explain it, I do not think about it very much. After reading this book, I cannot stop thinking about it. Where did belief in the Trinity come from? Why has it been such a contentious article of faith? How does it affect Christians in their relationship with those of other faiths? Why is the Holy Spirit so hard to institutionalize and why is that such good news? Tickle and Sweeney know why all of these questions matter. They furthermore know how to write about them so that they matter to us too. If you want to know more about what is happening to Christian faith and why--and if you are also wiling to discover what it means to love God with your whole mind--this is the book for you."

Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Learning to Walk in the Dark


The Authors

  1. Phyllis Tickle

    Phyllis Tickle

    Phyllis Tickle (1934-2015) was founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly. One of the most respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today, she was the author of more than two dozen books, including The...

    Continue reading about Phyllis Tickle

  2. Jon M. Sweeney

    Jon M. Sweeney

    Jon M. Sweeney is the author of several books, including the remarkably timely The Pope Who Quit. He is well-known for his ability to take complicated religious history and make it accessible and fascinating to non-scholars. He is the editor-in-chief of...

    Continue reading about Jon M. Sweeney

Reviews

"Reading this pair of veteran authors is like being invited as a freshman into the office of an admired professor and then being brought up to speed like a colleague."

Publishers Weekly


Resources