Book Reviews / Pneuma 32 (2010) 283-332 297 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/157007410X509263 Robert Davis Hughes, III, Beloved Dust: Tides of the Spirit in the Christian Life (New York: Continuum, 2008). xii + 428 pp., $34.95 paper. This is a work of spiritual theology consisting of two parts. Part One deals with the recon- struction of spiritual theology which includes a valuable survey of the state-of-the-art, while Part Two covers the contents of spiritual theology proper. Hughes’ approach is devel- oped in conscious distinction from the largely individualistic and subjective approaches since the twelfth century and from the psychological interpretation of mysticism under the influence of nineteenth century Romanticism. According to Hughes, the problems of spiritual theology in the past continue to bedevil Christian spirituality even to this day. Another important feature of Hughes’ work is that it seeks to move away from what he calls the “manualist” approach of pre-Vatican II spiritual theologies in which the spiritual life is understood largely as moral development, subordinated to moral theology, and divorced from dogmatics. One does wonder, however, if Hughes might not have missed the real nature of the problem found in these “manualist” spiritual theologies.
Pneuma – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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