Synopses & Reviews
Synopsis: Drawing from the fields of evolutionary neuroscience, psychology, and theology, Sandra Levy-Achtemeier considers what it might mean for humans, as embodied and spiritual selves, to flourish now, and how such flourishing can contribute to our final flourishing in the time to come. She shows how such holistic flourishing and growth-filled transformation can occur even--and perhaps especially--in times of darkness and struggle. In this engaging work, she makes complex ideas accessible to all who hunger for deeper spiritual growth over the course of their lives. This book is not only highly readable, but it is also a practical guide to the flourishing life, providing resources for embodied practices--from prayer to dance to storytelling--which can enhance our human flourishing now. In short, she lays out a complete picture of human flourishing, from our evolutionary roots to kingdom living in the life to come. Endorsements: "In Flourishing Life: Now and in the Time to Come, Dr. Levy-Achtemeier well integrates her knowledge, skill, and wisdom from her previous career as a top-flight academic psychologist and professor with her current career as an Episcopal priest, beautifully blending evidence-based research with pastoral and theological understanding. Very few books of this nature do this well and the reader will be grateful for this important, well-written, page-turning, and compelling contribution in their efforts to flourish both now and in the time to come." --Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP Professor of Psychology and Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute, Santa Clara University Author of Spiritual Practices in Psychotherapy: Thirteen Tools for Enhancing Psychological Health (2009) "Some eighteen hundred years ago, Irenaeus wrote that God's glory is a human being fully alive. What might this path of human flourishing look like? Sandra Levy-Achtemeier illuminates its character while orienting us to the journey and encouraging us along the way. Drawing on diverse resources--the biblical and theological traditions as well as the neurosciences and positive psychology--she emphasizes the formative significance of our embodied lives, animated in churches oriented to God's kingdom and sculpted through characteristic practices. Take this book to a quiet place with a cup of coffee or tea, and find here the practical wisdom for which we hunger." --Joel B. Green Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies and Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary Author of Practicing Theological Interpretation (2012) "Ancient wisdom and contemporary science agree about what it takes to find happiness despite life's inevitable difficulties. But they speak such different languages that it's not easy to see how dramatically the evidence converges. The Flourishing Life cuts through the jargon to offer a wisdom that felt to me like that first breath of spring air after a long hard winter. Here's what it takes to find the good life." --Catherine M. Wallace, PhD Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Author of Motherhood in the Balance: Children, Career, God, and Me (2001) Author Biography: Sandra Levy-Achtemeier is a psychologist, writer, and Theologian-in-Residence at historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of Imagination and the Journey of Faith (2008). For more, see her website: www.sandralevy.net.