Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls: A Guide to Christian Approaches and Practices

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Gary W. Moon, David G. Benner
InterVarsity Press, Apr 8, 2004 - Religion - 254 pages
In recent years, many Christian clergy, laity and mental health professionals have rediscovered the ancient practices of spiritual direction. Seen as a refreshing alternative to the techniques and limitations of modern psychology, such practices offer new insights for pastoral care. But many remain unclear on what spiritual direction is and whether its methods are applicable to their own clients and parishioners. Spiritual direction is a practice of Christian soul care that is found most notably in the Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopal traditions but is also present in Wesleyan/Holiness, Pentecostal/charismatic, social justice and Reformed communities. Predating modern counseling and psychotherapy movements but sharing key principles and insights for spiritual formation, spiritual direction offers significant resources for today’s pastors, counselors, therapists, chaplains and other caregivers attuned to the work of God in people’s lives. In this landmark volume, editors Gary W. Moon and David G. Benner, along with a team of expert contributors, provide a comprehensive survey of spiritual direction in its myriad Christian forms. Specific chapters offer careful historical perspective and contemporary analysis of how Christians from various backgrounds have practiced spiritual direction, with particular attention to each tradition’s definition of spiritual direction, the process of authentic transformation, the role of the spiritual director, indicators of mature spirituality and other aspects of the spiritual direction process. Chapters also provide psychological and clinical insight into how spiritual direction is similar to, different from and can be integrated with psychotherapy and pastoral counseling to help others experience spiritual transformation and union with God.

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User Review  - kaulsu - LibraryThing

This book outlines how seven major traditions view Spiritual Direction. 1. Orthodox Christianity 2. Roman Catholic 3. Episcopal Read full review

User Review  - Dr. Robert W. Kellemen - Christianbook.com

"Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls" guides the reader on a historical journey exploring the depths of ancient spiritual direction. Editors Moon and Benner gather experts from seven classic ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Gary Moon (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is director of the Martin Family Institute and Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Formation at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also distinguished professor of psychology and Christian spirituality at Richmont Graduate University. He is the editor in chief for the journal Conversations and he is the director of the Renovaré International Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation. His most recent book is Apprenticeship with Jesus (Baker).

David G. Benner (Ph.D., York University) is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Spirituality at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously he was an associate fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. A depth psychologist, spiritual director and retreat leader, Benner has written and edited many books, including the Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling and Care of Souls. He is the founding executive editor of the journal Conversations.

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