Quite simply this was a surprisingly wonderful book to read. Gerald Sittser makes history come alive with his engaging style and flowing style. They say that you must understand something profoundly in order to explain it simply. This is true for Sittser. His scholarship is impressive but his scholarship does not make this book hard to read.
This is also an important book. The study of Christian Spirituality in Church History in one volume is a great resource. Tracing the various forms and practices of spiritual life in the major epochs of the Christian Church is eye opening – not just in how spirituality develops but in both the differences AND the similarites. Sittser is broad and fair in his study covering a large spectrum of traditions and theologies. Sittser does not focus on the differences, or the problems – he acknowledges that there are many problems between the various denominations. Instead he has focused on the positives and that is a good thing. The subject matter of this book is important and now, with this volume, it is available in the form of an excellent book. I have a shelf of books which I try and read each year. This book is going on that self. It will also be in the top 3 books i will recommend for Church History reading. Highly recommended.