Spiritual Being and Becoming: Western Christian and Modern Scientific Views of Human Nature for Spiritual Formation

By Eric J. Kyle

A creative synthesis of theological and scientific views of the human person and their application to Christian spiritual development.

ISBN: 9780718894917


As many as 100 billion neurons make up the human nervous system – a system that is incredibly complex, and a fundamental part of what makes us who we are. But there is far more to human beings than biology. Many academic disciplines study the human condition and there are many schools of thought within that study. We must also appreciate that the study of human nature did not begin in contemporary times. History is full of texts that offer detailed explorations of the human condition. However, no consensus has yet emerged. Consensus or not, those working towards religious and spiritual formation pursue the transformation of their communities. This book offers a fuller understanding of some of the common views of human nature and also insights into how we might utilise this knowledge in our ministries – ministries that strive towards the spiritual being and becoming of our world.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 312
Illustrations b&w

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Eric J. Kyle works at the College of Saint Mary in Nebraska. He has taught courses in spirituality and is the author of Living Spiritual Praxis (2013) and Sacred Systems (2013).


List of Figures

1. Western Christian Theological Anthropologies
2. Modern Science Views of Human Nature
3. Seeking Synthesis: Toward a General Theory of Human Nature
4. Spiritual Being and Becoming: A General Model for Spiritual Formation
5. Spiritual Groundedness: Moving from Theory to Practice

Anthropological Afterthoughts

Appendix A: Summary Table of Western Christian Views
Appendix B: Summary Table of Modern Science Views



Endorsements and Reviews

With stellar scholarly work and profound pastoral sensibilities, Eric Kyle masterfully guides us through the perspectives of theologians, psychologists, mystics, neuroscientists, and many others whose deep curiosity about human beings, mystery, and the universe have driven them to try to answer questions of ultimate concern. Kyle weaves these many threads together into a fresh, powerful model of Christian spiritual formation. This book offers a treasure-trove of possibilities for understanding, teaching, and engaging in the formation of the Christian spiritual life.
Andrew Dreitcer, Director of Spiritual Formation, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont

Thomas Aquinas would be proud. Spiritual formation has found a mind for the twenty-first century to systematise and synthesise the complex dynamics of human being and spiritual transformation. With the organisational clarity of an engineer and the commitment of a Dominican monk, Kyle distils wisdom from Western theology and modern science to create a unified model of human nature.
Frank Rogers Jr, Muriel Bernice Roberts Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont