Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2020


To ask, “Why church?” certainly stirs multilayered theological, missional, ecclesial, and pastoral reflection. The question also has spiritual ramifications. To explore some of them, we will trace a thread of the Lutheran spiritual tradition from Martin Luther’s own “faith mysticism” through particular aspects of German pietism. That overview will provide a foundation for engaging the contemporary contemplative movement, in order to discern how its concepts and practices might provide insight for the practice of spirituality. Our conviction is that deepening the interior journey through a living, active faith leads not to withdrawal but to an awareness—even a vulnerability—that welcomes a healthy struggle with the realities of our world.


Originally published in Word & World, Volume 40, Number 1 Winter 2020.

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