David Benner, who has spent thirty-five years integrating psychology and spirituality, presents psychological insights in a readable fashion to offer readers a deeper understanding of the self and its spiritual development. Drawing on a broad range of Christian traditions, Benner shows that the transformation of self is foundational to Christian spirituality.
This book will appeal to readers interested in a psychologically grounded, fresh exploration of Christian spirituality; professionals engaged in pastoral care, counseling, and spiritual direction; and students in ministry development and spiritual formation courses. Questions and answers for individual or group use are included at the end of each chapter.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-12-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In a challenging multidisciplinary analysis of psychological change and spiritual development, psychologist Benner (Soulful Spirituality) leads off by arguing that “full personhood comes only from a lifelong journey of becoming that, as we shall see, must be lived in a posture of openness, trust, willingness and surrender.” Blending insights from psychology, theology, anthropology, his own clinical practice, and other disciplines, the author suggests that the adventurous journey of the “awakening self” is one of experiencing the possibility of “radical” transformation leading to oneness with God. Throughout the book, stories from the Christian mystics and other spiritual tutors provide a rich array of examples of communion with the divine as the writer presents his vision of the self as it moves from one stage of consciousness to the next. Benner’s generous use of examples from outside the framework of traditional Christian thought and his rather unorthodox approach to congregational life may make some readers uncomfortable. But if they persist, they will find this profound journey into spiritual and psychological growth provocative, enriching, and full of insights that will stay with them after they have put down the book. (Feb.)