The Depth of God’s Reach

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"In this luminous volume, Michael Downey's theological erudition enriches even as his poetic turn of phrase inspires.”                         —Richard R. Gaillardetz, Boston College

What do we mean when we profess in the Apostles’ Creed that Christ “descended into hell”?  In The Depth of God’s Reach renowned author and teacher Michael Downey shows how Christ’s descent provides a spiritual foundation that offers both consolation and hope, a spirituality that recognizes Christ’s solidarity with us in our own suffering and trials. This book will be a cherished resource for all who are trying to make sense of suffering, death, and life beyond death.

Michael Downey has taught theology and spirituality at universities and seminaries in North America and abroad.  Schooled in the spirituality of Jean Vanier and l’Arche, his abiding concern for the wounded and marginalized has led him to serve those most in need through conferences and retreats throughout the world. He is also author of Altogether Gift: A Trinitarian Spirituality (Orbis).

Book Details

The Depth of God’s Reach
A Spirituality of Christ’s Descent
Michael Downey

The Depth of God's Reach Table of Contents (978-1-62698-261-1.pdf, 40 Kb) [Download]

A stimulating reading in the area of spirituality and in the area of pastoral care for those who suffer, and mourn, and die.
How often we recite the creedal statement, ‘He descended into hell,’ without much thought! Calling on theology ancient and modern, poetry, creedal history, worship traditions, and personal stories of pain and loss, Downey leads readers through deep and often surprising waters in search of the statement’s implications for today’s believers. Beautiful, well-crafted language sustains the adventure. He returns again and again to ask how Christ’s descent offers hope to those who live, as we all do, in a Holy Saturday world where ‘hellish suffering’ is all too much a part of our global reality.
In this luminous volume, Michael Downey's theological erudition enriches even as his poetic turn of phrase inspires. Downey has taken a much-neglected article of the Apostles’ Creed, Christ's descent among the dead, and has laid open for readers its spiritual riches. What might have seemed an arcane Christian belief becomes an invitation into the very heart of the Christian faith .... Downey stands out as a spiritual master of the highest order.
Michael Downey has successfully and beautifully demonstrated that theology, prayer, poetry, and mission can meet and embrace. He presents a Christology arising from a portion of the Creed that has no liturgical expression, except silence and waiting. We from the developing world are consoled by the truth that Jesus’ descent into hell breaks the isolation of the dead and opens the way to eternal communion. What an inspiring volume!
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