The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective

by Richard Rohr, Andreas Ebert. Crossroad Publishing Co., 2001.

Some think the Enneagram is a powerful tool for spiritual discernment, while others consider it a religious personality typing system. If you have not yet experienced the Enneagram's challenges, the authors' expansion of their original 1989 book, 'Discovering the Enneagram', is a comprehensive introduction. If you are already a fan, the second edition offers some strong arguments that this typology is an ancient Christian model, brought forward in time by Sufi masters.

The Enneagram takes its name from the nine (Greek "ennea") "faces of the soul" identified by the authors and the diagram they use to demonstrate their relationships. Each number corresponds to a particular childhood mode of coping with the world that has hardened into adult sin. The authors invite readers to discover their mode, and to move beyond its confines into conversion and spiritual maturation. They tell us that "Anyone who discovers the power and the truth of the Enneagram inevitably comes to a baffling conclusion: God makes use of our sins….The realization is at once a source of shame and freedom, for it is an experience of unconditional love."

A resource for both individuals and groups, the Enneagram has had wide-ranging spiritual impact, as practitioners have brought this system to a high degree of elaboration. Both novice and advanced users will enjoy the refinements of the second edition.