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Pia Desideria

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  126 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This classic work, first published in 1675, inaugurated the movement in Germany called Pietism. In it a young pastor, born and raised during the devastating Thirty Years War, voiced a plea for reform of the church which made the author and his proposals famous. A lifelong friend of the philosopher Leibnitz, Spener was an important influence in the life of the next leader o ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published January 1st 1964 by Fortress Press (first published 1675)
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Benjamin Glaser
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for good Pietism.
Joe Smith
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
In this foundational text of Pietism, Spener addresses the spiritual depravity of the Lutheran church in his day. A wee bit antisemitic and anti-Catholic, (as Lutherans are wont to be), but his proposals to enliven the Church are as relevant today as they were in the seventeenth century.
Kessia Reyne
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
This is a foundational work in Christian pietism. Set against a the backdrop of a fairly new Reformation that had too quickly turned dry and scholastic, Philip Jakob Spener's Pia Desideria is a cry against what the church had become and a call back to what it ought to be: holy. He lays out 6 recommendations for restoring personal piety to Christians and if you're a Christian, it just might surprise you how much of what he said then we take for granted now. A quick, easy read; more than worth the ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is fascinating to see how Spener addresses the cultural and spiritual ills of the church in his day, and how often they parallel to issues we often face today. This book definitely needs to be read with a reasonably well-informed view of theology and history to avoid confusion, although the introduction does an admirable job providing specific historical and personal information on Spener and his environment.
Brad Hoff
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I chose "really liked it" because I hope to reread it someday. There are a number of quotes that I would like to write down, highlight, or somehow try to remember. Perhaps part of it is that I am intrigued (or maybe even enthralled) by the fact that I am reading the thoughts of a man who lived and ministered and wrote in 1675, whose counsel seems to be fitting for today, in a number of ways.
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spener wrote his treatise on Christian living in 1675 but he might have written it today. In it he admonishes the Church on not conforming to the world and how much the Christian body has, in fact, rendered itself almost indistinguishable from non believers in how they think, conduct their lives or ignorance of doctrinal truth. It's a short, readable book and I highly recommend it.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it liked it
He had some great ideas for how the church can be reformed.

Great ideas for how the priesthood of all believers works out practically.

Some great ideas on how orthodoxy and orthopraxy function together.

I didn't like that he was extremely anti-Catholic.


He was a Lutheran who wrote this in the 1700s, so I'll forgive him for the anti-Catholic stuff.
Daniel Poe
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Didn't expect this to be a wonderful work, which paved the way for Pietism! I love how the author explains the implications of true orthodoxy and how Christians can flee from dead orthodoxy to a lively faith that is fueled by sound theology.

Although there are parts of the author's theology I disagree with, since he is a Lutheran, overall this is a book I will recommend.
Ryan Linkous
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I appreciate Spener's call to spiritual reformation within the church. Much of what he rights is still applicable to evangelicalism today. It is refreshing to read someone concerned about the church during the modern period after reading much dense theology from that time.
Mike Awtry
Aug 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
"It is by no means enough to have knowledge of the Christian faith, for Christianity consists rather of practice." This quote sums up the problems with this book. Proper practice ("moral reform" as it's referred to) is welcome and necessary in the church, but it must be founded in proper faith.
Matt Friedman
Very good translation of a classic work, with some good footnotes.
Dwight Davis
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great meditation on the importance of living the Christ life. Challenging and convicting.
Timothy Smith
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This is a foundational book for pietist in theology. Much of Spener's six proposals for the renewal of the Church still make sense today.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Historically important in personal spirituality and the church. The foundation for Protestant churches having bible studies and stuff like that.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like it.
Jason Coyle
rated it it was ok
Jul 10, 2012
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