From time to time on Patrick Madrid’s Open Line show on EWTN or as part of Catholic Answers I have heard him refer callers to a book named Spiritual Theology (Stagbooks) by Father Jordan Aumann, O.P. So I started to look around for it. This book being published in 1980 is not readily available and so is rather pricey in either new or in used condition. I happened to come across that they have this book available online at DomCentral.org and so I downloaded each chapter and created an ebook of it to read.
First off my impression of the book is simply wow! I have been using it for spiritual reading over the last month and I was just totally impressed by it. The late Fr. Aumann takes the categories of Ascetical and Mystical theology and treats it under the category of spiritual theology. This is like a catechism of spiritual theology and provides an in-depth coverage of the subject. Since it was written by an Dominican of course you can expect lots of distinctions, something I really like. The best thing is just how accessible it is considering this is such a complex subject. He refrains from using philosophical technical terms when not required and fully explains them when he does use them. This is a book I think would be beneficial for all and one that can be also used as a reference considering its broad range.
As an interested layman and very amateur theologian I was also very happy to find beyond the accessibility of the book that there was nothing I could consider dubious that would set off my theological spider senses. When a theological proposition is uncertain he says so frankly and so you always know what is Church teaching and what is theological speculation. The book is filled with the wisdom of the Doctors of the Church and you find referenced particularly St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Carmelite Doctors, St. Ignatius of Loloya, and St. France de Sales. As such he provides an amazing synthesis of the teachings of these Doctors as it applies to spiritual theology. At 448 pages this is not a quick read, but one totally worthy of study and as a reference to come back to.
Considering that is book is available online and also as a zip file here I don’t think there are any problems with me providing an ebook edition of it. The online edition contains some formatting errors as it was probably scanned in using OCR. Regardless these formatting errors are very minor and infrequent and do not distract from a reading of the text.