The Martin Institute for Christianity & Culture and the Dallas Willard Research Center (MIDWC) at Westmont College has announced that Relational Spirituality by Todd W. Hall (with M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall) is the winner of the MIDWC Book Award for 2022.
Mark Nelson, who is on staff with the Martin Institute, said, “Relational Spirituality was chosen because of its lucid, convincing presentation of an interpersonal paradigm of Christian spiritual transformation.”
Dallas Willard (1935–2013) was a thinker, pastor, and author of such books as The Spirit of the Disciplines and The Divine Conspiracy. Now regarded as modern spiritual classics, these works have inspired thousands of ordinary Christians to become extraordinary Christ followers, and have influenced a generation of writers and teachers, especially on the topics of Christian spiritual disciplines and formation. The MIDWC Annual Book Award Program was created in 2015 to help place an enduring emphasis on the intellectual legacy of Dallas Willard by recognizing original written work that shares his vision that invisible things such as soul, spirit, and the kingdom of God are part of reality, and that spiritual transformation is possible, especially through spiritual practices and disciplines.
Drawing on historical theology, biblical interpretation, clinical psychology, and neurobiology, Hall and Hall take a multidisciplinary approach to Christian spiritual formation seeking to overcome the historic split between theoretical knowledge of doctrine and experiential knowledge of Christian life. They argue that trinitarian theology, psychological attachment theory, and connectionist accounts of the mind converge on a view that reality is fundamentally relational, that we are prewired for attachment to other humans and God, and that real spiritual transformation takes place in community. Hall and Hall write how in properly functioning spiritual communities, “we are loved into loving, and as this occurs, we grow into the image of God as exemplified in Christ.”
“With Relational Spirituality, Todd Hall and Elizabeth Hall have, with erudition and mercy, given us a masterpiece that not only tells us who we are but also points us in the direction of who we long to become,” said Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Desire. “Broad in its scope, prophetic in its conviction, beautifully imaginative in its synthesis of multiple domains of human experience, and accessible in its application, this is sure to become a wellspring of hope and transformation—one that could not come at a more timely moment.”
Todd W. Hall (PhD, Rosemead School of Psychology) is professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, where he teaches courses on the integration of psychology and theology, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and positive psychology. He is a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University and a founding partner at Flourishing Metrics. Hall is also an award-winning researcher, focusing on relational approaches to spirituality, virtue, and leadership. He is the author of The Connected Life and coauthor of Psychology in the Spirit and Relational Spirituality. Hall is also the developer of several widely used spiritual assessments and codeveloper of the Flourish Assessment.
M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall (PhD, Rosemead School of Psychology) is professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, where she teaches courses on the integration of psychology and theology. She has published over one hundred articles and book chapters and serves as associate editor for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
The Halls’ book joins other recent MIDWC Book Award winners, including Barbara Peacock, Soul Care in African American Practice; Angela Carpenter, Responsive Becoming; Gary Moon, Becoming Dallas Willard; Katherine Thompson, Christ-Centred Mindfulness; and Mark McMinn, The Science of Virtue.
For a complete list of IVP award winners visit ivpress.com/award-winners