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The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,261 ratings  ·  237 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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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)
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.
Jared Stine
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Just read it
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
There is some insightful stuff here, and I understand this is a pivotal work for the enneagram. I am hoping some of the works that build on it are stronger, though, because Rohr is theologically unsound in places and comes across as arrogant and presumptuous. The gospel of John misquotes Jesus because Hitler abused the statement? Pilate was a three based on a single action for which we do not know the motive? Come on, now.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 18-favorites
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
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
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad I took the time to read this book and read it slowly. I didn’t know anything about the Enneagram before this. What a beautiful way of exploring how we approach life and relationship and how to use that knowledge to grow closer to becoming the best versions of ourselves and grow closer to God.
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!
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
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 ...
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Enneagram is fascinating. This now classic book is an engaging and well-organized introduction to it, written with humility and spiritual attentiveness.

But I'm writing these words in 2019, and there are currently dozens and dozens of books written on the Enneagram from all sorts of different perspectives. There are also very many workshops, websites, and videos that seek to teach and explain it. What makes this book a valuable contribution?

More than other books on the Enneagram, Rohr and Eb
Mary Grace
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mary Grace by: Linda
Shelves: gospel
The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective isn't the trendiest book on the Enneagram, but it is still a fantastic resource. The chapters are clearly organized, parallel, and oriented around a Christian understanding of this tool. Yes, I do have qualms with Rohr's treatment of a few topics, namely the inerrancy of Scripture. Yes, the reader should carefully consider the Enneagram's roots in eastern mysticism. But I also recognize that Christians are able to have varying perspectives while still seeki ...more
Kathryn Wilmotte
Perhaps the best element of this book is its acknowledgement that learning one’s type is a painful thing. It is hard to see your flaws presented, your pitfalls, and your failings. As a Type Four, it’s also hard to read it and not feel the warm glow of being one of the “special ones” (the pitfall of the Four). In my case, it was also a celebration as I saw how much redemption God has already worked in my sensitive little soul.

The book invites one to sober reflection and thought. It has its own f
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
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.
Matthew Ellis
Enlightening, fascinating, challenging. Worth reading for any Christian interested in the enneagram, or anyone interested in Christian interpretation of the enneagram. The bulk of the book is the second part, discussing the nine enneagram types, but anyone already familiar with these might still find the first and third parts educational. The book seems to be primarily written from a Catholic perspective, though Christians outside of 'the Church' (such as myself) still have a lot to gain from re ...more
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.
Donna Pincince
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Helpful book to understand the Enneagram. Not a sit down and read straight through it type of book because there is so much info. I originally borrowed the book but decided to buy my own copy to reference and revisit.
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.
Derek Shaw
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I mean, what do you expect? This is the enneagram and Richard Rohr...two of my favorite things! Read it, then come talk to me about it!
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.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith, identity
For Christians interested in or fascinated by the Enneagram, this is a must read. While some other presentations of this approach to personality have a very negative feel, Rohr and Ebert look at it as a tool for positive growth and redemption, which feels fresh and hopeful. Their explanation of the differences between the three centers was clearer than any other I have read, and I appreciated their thorough presentation of each type, not just its traits but Biblical, literary, and historical exa ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. Detailed. Great examples. I really enjoyed reading and learning more about all 9 types.
Destrea Havlik
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a ton of information in this book. But it has an amazing perspective on the enneagram. I changed and healed in the process of reading it.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Helpful but not scripture. To be taken with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
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 extre
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
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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

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