It is reported that there are as many as 100 billion neurons that make up the human nervous system. This system is incredibly complex, and yet it is a fundamental part of what makes us who we are. Yet, there is far more to human beings than biology. Many academic disciplines study the human condition and there are many schools of thought within that study. We must also appreciate that the study of human nature did not begin in contemporary times. History, particularly Western Christian history, is full of texts that offer detailed explorations of the human condition. However, no consensus has yet emerged. Consensus or not, those working towards religious and spiritual formation are tasked with pursuing the transformation of their communities. This book is an attempt to provide some of the background to support this ministerial work. It seeks not only to offer a fuller understanding of some of the common views of human nature, but also insights into how we might utilize this knowledge in our ministries--ministries that strive towards the spiritual being and becoming of our world. ""With stellar scholarly work and profound pastoral sensibilities, Eric Kyle masterfully guides us through the perspectives of theologians, psychologists, mystics, neuroscientists, and many others whose deep curiosity about human beings, mystery, and the universe have driven them to try to answer questions of ultimate concern. Ultimately, Kyle weaves these many threads together into a fresh powerful model of Christian spiritual formation. This book offers a treasure-trove of possibilities for understanding, teaching, and engaging in the formation of the Christian spiritual life."" --Andrew Dreitcer, Director of Spiritual Formation, The Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA ""An incredible resource Eric Kyle offers lucid overviews of the major theological and scientific theories of human nature, skillfully fitting them together into a single theological anthropology. He concludes with a fascinating transition from theory to practice, offering general guidelines to foster personal transformation in congregations and classrooms. Few authors on spiritual formation can rival Kyle's synthetic mind and grasp of the data."" --Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA ""This innovative book explores spiritual formation through a fresh lens combining neuroscience, Western philosophy, and theological anthropology. The breadth of the book will keep readers gleaning something new from it time and again. Packed with theories, theorists, models, and charts, it takes what we know of spiritual formation and provides scholars and practitioners novel constructs to look at the field while the book's attention to context leaves the reader with the responsibility of appropriating those theories to their context."" --Mark Chung Hearn, Director of Contextual Education, School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University, Seattle, WA ""Thomas Aquinas would be proud. Spiritual formation has found a mind for the 21st century to systematize and synthesize the complex dynamics of human being and spiritual transformation. With the organizational clarity of an engineer and the commitment of a Dominican monk, Kyle distills wisdom from Western theology and modern science to create a unified model of human nature. This model is coherent, expansive, integrative, and practical. It sharpens our focus on how people are wired; and it offers a map for how to facilitate transformation. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam? Aquinas is beaming."" --Frank Rogers Jr., Muriel Bernice Roberts Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA Eric Kyle works at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, NE. He has taught courses in spirituality and is the author of Living Spiritual Praxis (2013) and Sacred Systems (2013).