Saving Fear in Christian Spirituality


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The Saving of Fear: An Introduction by Anne W. Astell

Fear at the Foundations: Biblical and Patristic

1. “In Awe of the Mighty Deeds of God”: The Fear of God in Early Christianity from the Perspective of Biblical Spirituality by Pieter G. R. de Villiers

2. Cyril of Jerusalem on Learning the Proper Type of Fear of God by Donna R. Hawk-Reinhard

3. Threading the Needle: Fear of the Lord and the Incarnation in St. Augustine by John Sehorn

Fear in Medieval Meditation

4. Lips of Fear Kissed by Mercy: Expositions of Timor Dei in Cistercian Commentary on the Song of Songs by Catherine Rose Cavadini

5. Aquinas on Christ’s Fear by Joseph Wawrykow

6. Contemplations of the Dread and Love of God and the Nuancing of the Fear of the Lord by Robert Boenig

Fear amongst the Reformers

7. The Reformation Recovery of the Wrath of God by Ralph Keen

8. The Doctor of Divine Love and Fear of the Lord by Wendy M. Wright

9. Fear of God in Pascal and His Jansenist Friends by Ephraim Radner

Fear in the Modern Debate

10. Casting out Fear: The Logic of “God is Love” in Julian of Norwich and Friedrich Schleiermacher by Julia A. Lamm

11. Fear of God in John Henry Newman and Søren Kierkegaard by Cyril O’Regan

Fear on the Eve of the New Millennium

12. “Gold Fillings into Crocodiles’ Teeth”: Christian Fear, Politics, and Imagination in Léon Bloy by Brenna Moore

13. Faith, Hope, Charity, and the Fears of Fatima by Ann W. Astell

14. Shocked to Awe: The Rapture Hermeneutic and Holy Fear by Maj-Britt Frenze

15. Fear of God in Liberation Theology by Todd Walatka

16. A Concluding Case Study in Spiritual Direction: Father Joseph Kentenich and

Emilie Engel by Ann W. Astell

List of Contributors


About the Author

Ann W. Astell is professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author, editor, and translator of fifteen books, including Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution: Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity, co-edited with Sandor Goodhart (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011).


"The 'fear of God' is a topic that has been largely neglected both in recent scholarship and in contemporary Christian pastoral practice—at least within the mainstream of Catholic and Protestant churches. And yet, as the essays in this volume show, the same theme has been of great significance in the historical development of Christian theology from the New Testament period onward." —Arthur Holder, Graduate Theological Union

"This volume is a necessary contribution to the conversation—indeed, this collection of essays shows that the fear of God has historically been more deeply intertwined with divine love than terror." —International Journal of Systematic Theology

"For those who pray to have a ‘perpetual fear and love’ of God’s holy name, this volume is a salutary reminder that, in our relationship with the Lord, these two dispositions belong together." —The Living Church

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