This quest for meaning and purpose often starts with personal encounter—the kind of transformative experience that results in a commitment to new ways of living. These new commitments yield communities: a common life with shared goals and practices. In turn, these communities can bring about more opportunities for personal encounter and transformative experience.
This pattern of personal encounter and communal commitment is evident even in the ancient texts and world of early Christians. In On the Way: Religious Experience and Common Life in the Gospels and Letters of Paul, Kevin McCruden explores this dynamic with rigor and religious sensitivity. By examining the historical critical, and theological significance of the four Gospels and the undisputed Pauline letters, McCruden makes space to explore the link between religious experience and communal life. This unique approach is aided by chapter summaries, review and reflection questions, and definitions throughout the book. Accessible, readable, and immediately relevant to the lives of students, On the Way offers a way into the New Testament studies that invites students to consider encounter, transformation, and community as it’s reflected in both Scripture and their lives.
Kevin B. McCruden is a professor of religious studies and chair of the religious studies department at Gonzaga University. He received his doctorate in New Testament and Early Christianity from Loyola University Chicago.