Scholarly, yet accessible, Leech's book explores the range of issues that concern both directors and those who seek direction: the history of spiritual direction, the relationship between director and directee, the practice of prayer in the Christian spiritual tradition, and the role of the spiritual director, not just for the individual but in the larger society. Using contemporary theories in the field of psychology and spiritual practice, Leech never loses sight of the richness of ancient understandings.
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Customer Reviews for Soul Friend: New Revised Edition
Review 1 for Soul Friend: New Revised Edition
Date:May 27, 2005
Dr. Robert W. Kellemen
Updated after nearly 30 years, Kenneth Leech's "Soul Friends: The Practice of Christian Spirituality" was a prophetic book in many ways. Since his book and those of Richard Foster, spiritual direction, spiritual formation, and spiritual friendship have become common practices not only in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Circles, but also in Protestant contexts. A major portion of Leech's work examines the relationship between counseling and soul friendship. Leech provides a helpful summary of the attempts in the past fifty years to integrate these disciplines. He also traces the history of spiritual counsel from the time of Christ to the present day. The bulk of his work focuses on prayer in spiritual friendship, or perhaps better said, prayer as spiritual friendship. For those wanting to sharpen their competencies in this aspect of soul friendship, Leech is quite helpful. For those wanting to develop a broad understanding of the varied components of spiritual friendship and how to practice them, other works might be necessary. Reviewer: Dr. Robert W. Kellemen is the author of "Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," "Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," and the forthcoming "Sacred Companions: A History of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."