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The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,292 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Richard Rohr and Andrea Ebert's runaway best-seller shows both the basic logic of the Enneagram and its harmony with the core truths of Christian thought from the time of the early Church forward.
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Crossroad (first published 1989)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,292 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this book Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert explain the enneagram, an ancient personality test used first by Christian ascetics and monks and later by Muslim sufis. It divides people into nine personality types which can be described by their primary need ("need to be perfect", "need to succeed", etc.), their primary sin ("pride", "anger", etc.), or other features. These nine types are arranged in a continuum around a circle, with lines connecting them indicating various relationships to each ot ...more
Sep 09, 2009 added it
I'm relieved to know that your Enneagram type is supposed to be humiliating because it is.

My favorite quote from this book didn't come from the author but Thomas Merton: "The great tragedy of our age is the fact...that there are so many godless Christians--Christians, that is, whose religion is a matter of pure conformism and expedience. Their 'faith' is little more than a permanent evasion of reality--a compromise with life. In order to avoid admitting the uncomfortable truth that they no longe
Nathan Richardson
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel compelled to believe the connections between the Enneagram and Christian spiritual growth. However, I’d be happy to entertain opposing views. (Type Nine)
Jared Stine
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Just read it
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was skeptical about this book for two reason. When something is trendy, like the Enneagram, I hate it by default. (The first version of this book, to be fair, was from the 1980s.) I’ve also done a lot of introspective exercises in the last few years, and at this point I’m a bit skeptical of more of it.The reason is, at some point I think you have to focus less on yourself and more on the rest of the cosmos. I was mentally primed to not finish this book. About halfway through, though, it was ob ...more
Heather Mauriello
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The historical information was interesting. There was definitely information that I hadn’t heard yet, as well as some that was review. I still don’t think I fully grasp the whole concept of the false and true selves. But I had to breeze through a lot of it because it was due back for someone else’s hold. Need to check it out again when I have more time to give to reading and thinking!
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Over dinner one night my friend said, "I'm an Enneagram Type Six, what are you?" From online Enneagram test results, I knew I was a Type One. She went on to talk about the freedom and healing she'd found in knowing her type and what she needed to work on to become a mature and balanced Type Six. That information I didn't find online, but in this book by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert.

Unlike the familiar Myers-Briggs personality grid, the Enneagram is a cryptic, almost mystical, circle with nine
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Typology always frustrates me as I always feel I don't quite fit anywhere. The thing I liked about this book is that it used the types to attack and expose your sinful tendencies and power-dangers. Of course, those are also your great strengths, but it was not slow in putting them in their place and acknowledging the ways we weild our strengths to trouble the world (rather than better it).

It also does help you see the gifts of others ...
Megan Soper
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started and finished this book in one day plagued with intrigue and deep, vulnerable sadness. The insights are spectacular, deafening, and at times led me to tears of joy and pain which I found beautiful...which I guess is because I'm a 4.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert have collaborated in “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” to add to the many efforts to introduce this time tested source of wisdom. I have learned painfully that I am in danger of making my worst mistakes when I was operating out of my “strengths”. The Enneagram helps to lift up this issue in a way that helps bring to consciousness this danger. Then forewarned can truly be forearmed. The material is presented in a conversational manner making it easy to assimi ...more
Kristine | A Lovely Bookshelf
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
If this book was a marathon, most of what I’ve read on the enneagram thus far has been comparable to anything from a 5k to a Half Marathon. I’m grateful for the work, the research, the perspective offered in it — but man, my eyes went a little blurry sometimes from the headiness of it, which meant I had to take small bites over time. But that’s okay! It is definitely one I will refer to again and again on the long and windy road of transformation!
McKenzie Watson
This book was essentially my first exposure to the Enneagram, and it was a solid one. I found Rohr and Ebert's overview both comprehensive and detailed enough to be useful in exploring my own type. I would say the book was most useful to me as an overview of the Enneagram as a whole, its purpose and practice.
Megan Ericson
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great deep dive into the Enneagram. I learned so much about the history of this spiritual personality typing system. Written somewhat academically, I had to read sections over just to grasp the concepts sometimes.
Tricia Culp
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life changing. I'm glad I dove into this world and look forward to understanding more of what it can teach me.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the meatier books on the subject I've read. Rohr doesn't sugarcoat his take on the various numbers, but frankly and unusually discusses them from a place of intense study and vast experience. (His 4 is rather different from other 4 comparisons I've found!) He also tackles it from a Christian perspective, and includes Biblical examples and some of the saints, which is fun.
J.F. Ethan Rose
Nov 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read this book because a group of my friends were into the enneagram and I wanted to know what all the fuss was. After reading this book, I have come to believe that not only does Rohr fail to connect the enneagram to authentic Christian spirituality, but the enneagram itself is an unfit way of understanding the human person and what we have come to call "personality." The enneagram, like Myers-Briggs, is too individualistic and deterministic. I think there are better ways of understanding peo ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Detailed. Great examples. I really enjoyed reading and learning more about all 9 types.
Sean Post
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Self-assessments are certainly popular. There are plenty of them that claim to give us insight regarding how we work and function. But how helpful are they really? Is the insight that is provided actually meaningful and helpful?

In the case of the Enneagram, the answer is "absolutely." Although I didn't know much about the Enneagram before reading this book, apparently many Christians are freaked out by it. The Enneagram is built around the idea that there are basically nine shapes of the human
Jason Leonard
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Of all that I've read regarding the Enneagram, this is the only work that focuses almost entirely on the redemptive application of the Enneagram. Rohr & Ebert understand that the Enneagram's usefulness is not in finding and operating out of your type. Rather, it is about understanding yourself and what freedom and Christ-likeness look like.

The only drawback to this book is that some of the language is too nuanced to be widely applicable. If you identify with their language, you'll find it e
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I have looked into different ways of categorizing personalities many times, but this was the first time I was confronted with something both insightful and capable of dealing with real complexity. Identifying personality types by means of the ways we cope with the world is brilliant, and sets inner struggles in a whole new light.

Not only was this helpful to me as a person (and it was), it was also extremely helpful to me as a writer. Stories are about characters, and they operate on readers. A g
Erin Henry
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For some reason this personality typing made so much more sense and was so much more helpful than Myers-Briggs or disc. I started with The Enneagram Made Easy and then went to this book for a more detailed look. I like the Enneagram because it details your strengths and weaknesses and gives advice on how to become a better person. I think I am a 3 and now have new things to work on. It's very eye-opening and I plan on referencing it a lot!
Shelby Rogers
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this very helpful for an in-depth study of the enneagram. It is long and dense at times, however. I would recommend it if you are interested in a combination of Christianity, it's history and the enneagram. It can read like a text book at times. If you are completely new to the enneagram, you may want to read up on the enneagram through other sources before reading this.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So interesting! I understand a lot of things in my life in relation to the ideas in this book now.
Patrick Doyle
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, development
Not the best book to read if you're looking for a self esteem pick-me-up, but great if you're looking for insight as to how you function and process the world in real terms - the good, bad, and ugly.
Cara Meredith
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While I found the beginning rather dry, once o got into it, I couldn't put it down. Please do yourself a favor and get to know yourself by figuring out which enneagram type you are.
Scarlett Pierson
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The most important things to mention are that the Enneagram is a personality model and that it is unique among such models in that it highlights the “pitfalls” or “root sin” of each personality type. In doing so, the purpose of the Enneagram is to provide us a means for confronting our primary behavior of self-defense and thus to help us convert our most paralyzing instinct into our greatest gift. Put another way, the Enneagram identifies our “false self” and points us toward our “true self.” Th ...more
Nancy DeValve
I first heard of the enneagram when I read Anne Bogel's book, Reading People, back in January. My first reaction was, "Well, that's negative!" I also thought the diagram used to illustrate the enneagram looked really new-agey. At the same time, it intrigued me and I started doing some more research on it. I found it that it was used by monks as a means of facing their sin and finding a greater closeness with God. Now it is used in counseling as well as in retreats and exercises of contemplation. ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, self-help
I read several other books on the Enneagram and found this to be the best, especially if you want a Christian perspective on it. But even without that, I found the descriptions of the 9 personality types to be clearest and I was able to find myself pretty easily, even though I have characteristics in others of the personality types. I love the constructive emphasis in this book that your strength is your weakness and it allows you to understand both yourself and others much better. It helped me ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This ancient instructive tool is more than a "personality" profile-The Enneagram is a tool to learning to live one's best life, the unique life each of us is born to live. At a workshop years ago, I was taught that each of us is born with one of the "9 faces of G_d" and at an early point in our childhood life turns that face and we become defensive. I bought this book because I have young grandchildren and wanted to see if my sense of their type was correct (It's a very helpful tool for communic ...more
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Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplat ...more
“Much of what is called Christianity has more to do with disguising the ego behind the screen of religion and culture than any real movement toward a God beyond the small self, and a new self in God.” 14 likes
“It seems that human beings cannot see what they are not readied to see. We cannot hear what we have not been prepared to hear. The “obvious” seems to have little correlation with our acceptance of it. We all have an amazing capacity for missing the point.” 0 likes
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