Representatives of each major Christian tradition---Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Reformed, Wesleyan-Holiness, Social Justice, and Pentecostal/Charismatic---give their take on how to bring people to deeper maturity through the role of a spiritual director. Features expert contributors. 276 pages, softcover. InterVarsity.
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Review 1 for Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls: A Guide to Christian Approaches and Practices
Date:March 29, 2005
Dr. Robert W. Kellemen
"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 Christian traditions (most of whom had written similar articles in earlier editions of "The Journal of Psychology and Theology"). Using the grid of Clebsch and Jaekle's "sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding," these authors explain the philosophy and process of spiritual direction as practiced over the past 2000 years of Church history. This excellent section is followed by one that some may see as not quite as strong. Here various authors explore the pros and cons of integrating spiritual direction into psychotherapy. At times, the discussion seems slanted toward a professional, therapeutic focus. That is, the 2000 years of spiritual direction detailed in the first section seems minimized by the concern to work within the boundaries of the ever-changing modern psychotherapeutic milieu. Perhaps this section would have been strengthened if equal weight had been given to integrating historical spiritual direction into modern pastoral and lay counseling. These seem to be places with great hope for constructive dialogue. A final intriguing chapter leaves the reader wishing for more of the same. Three writers from diverse backgrounds explore cases and how they might be handled from different perspectives in different settings. Perhaps a sequel (Volume 2?) could further develop this area, adding prescriptions for practical implementation to the books excellent theoretical orientation. Reviewer: Dr. Bob Kellemen, author of "Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction" and "Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."