Spiritual Styles

25 07 2011

David Csinos’ premise of his book is that every person interacts with God in a different and unique way.  Although each person is different, they can be categorized into four general categories which he calls “spiritual styles.”  This has built on the work of Urban T. Holmes, Corinne Ware, and Joyce Bellous who created four personalities or types of spirituality: “head, heart, mystic, and kingdom” (49)

Csinos adapted these four by titling them as “word, emotion, symbol, and action” (49).  Each is a unique way that people of that spiritual style interact with and are touched by God.

Word-Centered Approach defined:

  • People of this style focus on their intellectual thinking of God through what they can touch, see, and imagine.
  • They critically reflect on God to know God deeper.
  • They use logic and reason for connecting with God and understanding his world.
  • Word must be in right relationship with each other and present concrete realities.
  • Scripture is the divine Word of God. (52)

Emotion-Centered Approach defined:

  • Freedom of creativity, expression, and emotion is valued.
  • A personal relationship with God in the here and now is essential.
  • They are suspicious of acadamia and intellectual approaches to God.
  • Words are used to evoke emotional response instead of education. (57)

Symbol-Centered Approach defined:

  • Passive, quiet, calm, often sitting in silence and waiting for God’s presence to descend on them.
  • God is “more felt than spoken.”
  • Emphasis on beauty of God, creation, ritual, and visual art to encounter the divine.
  • High value of prayer for union with God.
  • The journey with God is more important than information about God. (61)

Action-Centered Approach defined:

  • Prayer for the world is followed by activity to transform it.
  • Give up of self in order to improve the world.
  • Willingness to sacrifice so that the kingdom of God expands and my be realized on earth. (68)
  • Unsatisfied with talking things but wants to engage God by doing things for him.





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