Once rarely discussed in medical circles, the relationship between spirituality and health has become an important topic in health care. This change is evidenced in courses on religion and medicine taught in most medical schools, articles in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and conferences being held all over the country. Yet, much of the discussion of the role of religion and spirituality in health care keeps the critical distance of only being about spirituality. A Balm for Gilead goes further, offering a work of spirituality.
Sulmasy moves between the poetic and the speculative, addressing his subject in the tradition of great spiritual writers like Augustine and Bonaventure. He draws from philosophical and theological sources—specifically, Hebrew and Christian scripture—to illuminate how the art of healing is integrally tied to a sense of the divine and our ultimate interconnectedness. Health care professionals—and anyone else involved with the care of the sick and dying—will find this series of meditations both inspiring and instructive.
Sulmasy addresses the spiritual malaise that physicians, nurses, and other health care workers experience in their professional lives, and explores how these Christian healers can be inspired to persevere in the care of the sick. Drawing on the parable of the prodigal son, for instance, Sulmasy illustrates how some physicians have put financial gain ahead of their patients, and how genuine spirituality might change their hearts. He examines both enigmatic topics such as the relationship between sinfulness, sickness, and suffering and the spirituality of more routine topics such as preventive medicine. In one especially stirring and poignant meditation, he reflects on the spirituality of dying in the light of Christian hope.
A Balm for Gilead interweaves prayer and reflection, pointing the way to a twenty-first-century spirituality for health care professionals and their patients.
The austere landscape of the Great Basin has inspired diverse responses from the people who have moved through or settled in it. Author Richard V. Francaviglia is interested in the connection between environment and spirituality in the Great Basin, for here, he says, "faith and landscape conspire to resurrect old myths and create new ones." As a geographer, Francaviglia knows that place means more than physical space. Human perceptions and interpretations are what give place its meaning. In Believing in Place, he examines the varying human perceptions of and relationships with the Great Basin landscape, from the region's Native American groups to contemporary tourists and politicians, to determine the spiritual issues that have shaped our connections with this place. In doing so, he considers the creation and flood myths of several cultures, the impact of the Judeo-Christian tradition and individualism, Native American animism and shamanist traditions, the Mormon landscape, the spiritual dimensions of gambling, the religious foundations of Cold War ideology, stories of UFOs and alien presence, and the convergence of science and spirituality.
Believing in Place is a profound and totally engaging reflection on the ways that human needs and spiritual traditions can shape our perceptions of the land. That the Great Basin has inspired such a complex variety of responses is partly due to its enigmatic vastness and isolation, partly to the remarkable range of peoples who have found themselves in the region. Using not only the materials of traditional geography but folklore, anthropology, Native American and Euro-American religion, contemporary politics, and New Age philosophies, Francaviglia has produced a fascinating and timely investigation of the role of human conceptions of place in that space we call the Great Basin.
Breaking the Mind
Kristian S. Heal Catholic University of America Press, 2014 Library of Congress BX177.15.N49 2013 | Dewey Decimal 281.5
This collection of sixteen new critical essays offers fresh perspectives on the Book of Steps, adding greater detail and depth to our understanding of the work's intriguing picture of early Syriac asceticism as practiced within the life of a local church and community.
Spirituality and gift are notions that are en vogue. Topics such as spirituality at the workplace, spirituality management, spirituality in leadership, organizational spirituality and other related topics are trending in management literature. The “logic of gift” is also appearing more frequently, especially in attempts to rethink the way our economy works in order to include the marginalized. < The expression “logic of gift” was introduced into official Catholic social teaching by Pope Benedict XVI, who presented it in association with the principle of gratuitousness, which in turn is an expression of fraternity. However, before Caritas in Veritate and ever since Marcel Mauss’s groundbreaking work The Gift, the importance of gift for human relationships and for the cohesion of society had been increasingly recognized. Alain Caillé and Jacques T. Godbout further fleshed out the implication of gift for contemporary society in the context of secular social sciences, striving to overcome utilitarianism. It was the “civil economy” movement, however, that exercised greatest influence on Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate This present volume reflects on the general scope of these notions for business and society. This is done by structuring the book in two parts, each dedicated to one of the two concepts. Each part has two general chapters and two that apply the notions to business and to business education. The authors are a mix of well-known emeritus professors and younger talented emerging scholars. We have also been careful to combine European with American authors.
A Catholic Spirituality for Business: The Logic of Gift does not seek to provide a definitive answer to all social challenges, but to make a contribution to a better understanding of Christian spirituality and gift in connection with business organizations. The authors in this book are convinced that markets can be ethical and social, that moral change towards ethical capitalism is possible.
“If someone were to ask,‘Where is God?’ how would you respond?”
Joseph A. Bracken, SJ, uses this question as a springboard to introduce the process-relational metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and other process theologians as he tries to reconcile the sometimes-conflicting views of traditional Christian doctrines and the modern scientific world. To present this material in an accessible manner to a wider audience, Bracken reworks Whitehead’s “model” of the God-world relationship, showing that God is involved in an ongoing, ever-changing relationship with humans and other . He also discusses the work of other contemporary theologians to help Christians come to terms with their role in our multi-dimensional pluralistic society.
Bracken examines divine and human creativity, the collective power of good and evil, divine providence and human freedom, prayer, altruism, and the basic question, “What is truth?” He shows how Whitehead&rsqio;s process thought approach to these issues can in fact "harmonize" traditional Christian beliefs and contemporary culture, benefiting both faith and reason.
Understanding the God-world relationship subtly influences our attitude toward ourselves, toward other human beings, and indeed toward all of God’s creatures, says Bracken. His revision of Whitehead's metaphysical vision in terms of a cosmic community shows how modern views of the world and God can be accepted and kept in balance with the traditional biblical views found in the Christian faith and how this balance can help Christians make better choices in a world shaped both by contemporary natural science and by traditional Christian spirituality.
“If we truly believe that in God we live and move and have our being and that as a result we share with the divine persons in a deeply communitarian way of life together with all of God’s creatures, we may be more readily inclined to make the periodic sacrifice of personal self-interest so as to pursue the higher good of sustained life in community. In the end, it is simply a matter of seeing the ‘bigger picture,’ realizing what life is ultimately all about.”
In Christianity, Wilderness, and Wildlife, Susan Bratton brings to life the tradition of Christian wilderness spirituality, from Noah’s and Moses’ experiences in the Old Testament to Celtic monasteries and the Franciscan order. She traces a long history of divine encounters in biblical literature such as visions, providential protection, spiritual guidance and calls to leadership—all of which highlight the importance of nature in Christian thought. This book will command the attention of the growing audience for works at the intersection of environment and spirituality.
Circling Faith is a collection of essays by southern women that encompasses spirituality and the experience of winding through the religiously charged environment of the American South.
Mary Karr, in “Facing Altars,” describes how the consolation she found in poetry directed her to a similar solace in prayer. In “Chiaroscuro: Shimmer and Shadow,” Susan Cushman recounts how her dissatisfaction with a Presbyterian upbringing led her to hold her own worship services at home and eventually to join the Eastern Orthodox Church. “Magic” by Amy Blackmarr depicts a religious practice that occurs wholly outside of any formal setting—she recognizes places, such as a fishing shack in south Georgia, and things, such as crystal Cherokee earrings, as reminders that God exists everywhere and that a Great Comforter is always present. In “The Only Jews in Town,” Stella Suberman gives her account of growing up as a religious minority in Tennessee, connecting her story to a larger narrative of Eastern European Jews who moved away from the Northeast, often to found and run “Jew stores” in midwestern and southern towns. Alice Walker, in an interview with Valerie Reiss titled “Alice Walker Calls God ‘Mama,’” relates her dynamic relationship with her God, which includes meditation and yoga, and explains how she views the role of faith in her work, including her novel The Color Purple. These essays showcase the large spectrum of spirituality that abides in the South, as well as the equally large spectrum of individual women who hold these faiths.
Divine Signs is the concluding volume of the ethnographic trilogy about the communicative tensions in everyday American cultural life H. L. Goodall, Jr., began with Casing a Promised Land and continued with Living in the Rock n Roll Mystery.
In this final work, the terms for understanding these tensions are found in a historical and mythological drama featuring Power (as the embodiment of the modern), Other (as the embodiment of the postmodern), and Spirit (as the unifying power capable of connecting disparate selves to dangerously fragmented communities). For this study, the localized site of interpretation is in and around Pickens and Oconee Counties, South Carolina, where every day street signs, business advertisements on billboards, signs that announce church themes, Internet postings, and other forms of public communication that invite private meanings are read as rhetorical invitations to participate in these myths and mysteries.
Using themes discoverable in such public forms of communication, Goodall deconstructs a variety of communal experiences—from annual community celebrations to weekly therapy sessions in local beauty salons to the fall audience rituals of Clemson University football games—to gain a deeper appreciation of the unifying symbolic orders that enrich the interpretive possibilities of our lives and that serve as signs of our deeply spiritual connections to each other and to the planet.
In the last sections of the book, the interplays of Power, Other, and Spirit are read into and against a wide variety of everyday interpretive contexts, from Rush Limbaugh and talk radio to narratives about angels and stories about the transformative powers of spiritual practices in organizations. Goodall then asks the important question: Where are the themes of this mythological drama leading us? In the stunning conclusion, Goodall creates communicative, cultural, and spiritual challenges for us all.
"Words,"writes Chuang Tzu, "are for catching ideas; once you've caught the idea, you can forget the words." In Do Nothing, author Siroj Sorajjakool lends us some of his insightful words to help us all "catch" the provocative ideas of one of China's most important literary and philosophical giants—one who emerged at a time when China had several such giants philosophizing on Tao or "the Way."
Though his thinking dates back to the fourth century, Chuang Tzu's Tao has profound implications for our modern lives. He welcomes an existence that is radically removed from the image of normalcy that society often projects, wherein the individual must always strive for more, always seek greater productivity, and always try to better him or herself and his or her place in life. Chuang Tzu would posit that the definitions of normalcy, success, and happiness are arbitrarily assigned and that our rigid and unquestioning adherence to these so-called "norms" leads to existential restlessness and unease. Instead of striving, he would say, be still. Instead of acquiring, embrace nothingness. Instead of seeking to understand the limitlessness of the universe during your brief and extremely limited existence, enjoy the wonder of it.
Siroj Sorajjakool suggests that when we can embrace nothingness, we undergo a spiritual transformation that liberates us to see more clearly and truly find ourselves. He offers a very personal exploration of Chuang Tzu's Tao, first in its historical and literary context, and then in the context of our twenty-first century existence. What emerges is a liberating and highly readable meditation on the many lessons we can "catch" from Chuang Tzu on how we view our aspirations, our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, and what it means to be a worthwhile person.
A lyrical coming-of-age memoir, Down from the Mountaintop chronicles a quest for belonging. Raised in northwestern Montana by Pentecostal homesteaders whose twenty-year experiment in subsistence living was closely tied to their faith, Joshua Doležal experienced a childhood marked equally by his parents’ quest for spiritual transcendence and the surrounding Rocky Mountain landscape. Unable to fully embrace the fundamentalism of his parents, he began to search for religious experience elsewhere: in baseball, books, and weightlifting, then later in migrations to Tennessee, Nebraska, and Uruguay. Yet even as he sought to understand his place in the world, he continued to yearn for his mountain home.
For more than a decade, Doležal taught in the Midwest throughout the school year but returned to Montana and Idaho in the summers to work as a firefighter and wilderness ranger. He reveled in the life of the body and the purifying effects of isolation and nature, believing he had found transcendence. Yet his summers tied him even more to the mountain landscape, fueling his sense of exile on the plains.
It took falling in love, marrying, and starting a family in Iowa to allow Doležal to fully examine his desire for a spiritual mountaintop from which to view the world. In doing so, he undergoes a fundamental redefinition of the nature of home and belonging. He learns to accept the plains on their own terms, moving from condemnation to acceptance and from isolation to community. Coming down from the mountaintop means opening himself to relationships, grounding himself as a husband, father, and gardener who learns that where things grow, the grower also takes root.
Over the past few decades, Daoism has become a recognizable part of Western “alternative” spiritual life. Now, that Westernized version of Daoism is going full circle, traveling back from America and Europe to influence Daoism in China.
Dream Trippers draws on more than a decade of ethnographic work with Daoist monks and Western seekers to trace the spread of Westernized Daoism in contemporary China. David A. Palmer and Elijah Siegler take us into the daily life of the monastic community atop the mountain of Huashan and explore its relationship to the socialist state. They follow the international circuit of Daoist "energy tourism," which connects a number of sites throughout China, and examine the controversies around Western scholars who become practitioners and promoters of Daoism. Throughout are lively portrayals of encounters among the book’s various characters—Chinese hermits and monks, Western seekers, and scholar-practitioners—as they interact with each other in obtuse, often humorous, and yet sometimes enlightening and transformative ways. Dream Trippers untangles the anxieties, confusions, and ambiguities that arise as Chinese and American practitioners balance cosmological attunement and radical spiritual individualism in their search for authenticity in a globalized world.
Encounters With Silence
Karl Rahner St. Augustine's Press, 1999 Library of Congress BX2184.R313 1999 | Dewey Decimal 242
One of the classics of modern spirituality, Encounters with Silence is one of Karl Rahner’s most lucid and powerful books. A book of meditations about man’s relation with God, it is not a work of dry theology, but rather a book of prayerful reflections on love, knowledge, and faith, obedience, everyday routines, life with our friends and neighbors, our work and vocation, and human goodness. The immense success of this moving work is a tribute to its practicality and the ability of the great theologian to speak simply and yet profoundly to ordinary men and women seeking an inspiring guide to the inner life, one that never forsakes the world of reality. The book is cast in the form of a dialogue with God that moves from humble but concerned inquiry to joyful contemplation.
“You will come again because the fact that you have already come must continue to be revealed ever more clearly. It must become progressively manifest to the world that the heart of all things is already transformed, because you have taken them all to your heart. . . . The false appearance of our world, the shabby pretense that it has not been liberated . . . must be more and more thoroughly rooted out and destroyed. . . . And your coming is neither past nor future, but the present, which has only to reach its fulfillment. Now it is still the one single hour of your advent.” (from the book)
In Engaged Spirituality, Gregory C. Stanczak challenges this assumption, arguing that spirituality plays an important social role as well. Based on more than one hundred interviews with individuals of diverse faith traditions, the book shows how prayer, meditation, and ritual provide foundations for activism. Among the stories, a Buddhist monk in Los Angeles intimately describes the physical sensations of strength and compassion that sweep her body when she recites the Buddha’s name in times of selfless service, and a Protestant reverend explains how the calm serenity that she feels during retreats allows her to direct her multi-service agency in San Francisco to creative successes that were previously unimaginable.
In an age when Madonna studies Kabbalah and the internet is bringing Buddhism to the white middle-class, it is clear that formal religious affiliations are no longer enough. Stanczak’s critical examination of spirituality provides us with a way of discussing the factors that impel individuals into social activism and forces us to rethink the question of how “religion” and “spirituality” might be defined.
In Eros Ideologies Laura E. Pérez explores the decolonial through Western and non-Western thought concerning personal and social well-being. Drawing upon Jungian, people-of-color, and spiritual psychology alongside non-Western spiritual philosophies of the interdependence of all life-forms, she writes of the decolonial as an ongoing project rooted in love as an ideology to frame respectful coexistence of social and cultural diversity. In readings of art that includes self-portraits by Frida Kahlo, Ana Mendieta, and Yreina D. Cervántez, the drawings and paintings of Chilean American artist Liliana Wilson, and Favianna Rodriguez's screen-printed images, Pérez identifies art as one of the most valuable laboratories for creating, imagining, and experiencing new forms of decolonial thought. Such art expresses what Pérez calls eros ideologies: understandings of social and natural reality that foreground the centrality of respect and care of self and others as the basis for a more democratic and responsible present and future. Employing a range of writing styles and voices—from the poetic to the scholarly—Pérez shows how art can point to more just and loving ways of being.
John Corrigan, editor Duke University Press, 2018 Library of Congress BL65.E46F445 2017
The contributors to Feeling Religion analyze the historical and contemporary entwinement of emotion, religion, spirituality, and secularism. They show how attending to these entanglements transforms understandings of metaphysics, ethics, ritual, religious music and poetry, the environment, popular culture, and the secular while producing new angles from which to approach familiar subjects. At the same time, their engagement with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and nation in studies of topics as divergent as documentary film, Islamic environmentalism, and Jewish music demonstrates the ways in which interrogating emotion's role in religious practice and interpretation is refiguring the field of religious studies and beyond.
Contributors. Diana Fritz Cates, John Corrigan, Anna M. Gade, M. Gail Hamner, Abby Kluchin, Jessica Johnson, June McDaniel, David Morgan, Sarah M. Ross, Donovan Schaefer, Mark Wynn
Fleshing the Spirit brings together established and new writers exploring the relationships between the physical body, the spirit and spirituality, and social justice activism. Examining the complex and dynamic connections among these concepts, the writers emphasize the value of “flesh and blood experience” as a site of knowledge. They argue that spirituality—something quite different from institutional religious practice—can heal the mind/body split and set the stage for social change. Spirituality, they argue, is a necessary component of an alternative political agenda focused on equitable social and ecological change.
The anthology incorporates different genres of writing—such as poetry, testimonials, critical essays, and historical analysis—and stimulates the reader to engage spirituality in a critical, personal, and creative way. This interdisciplinary work is the first that attempts to theorize the radical interconnection between women of color, spirituality, and social activism. Before transformative political work can be done, the authors say in multiple ways, we must recognize that our spiritual need is a desire to more fully understand our relations with others. Conflict experienced on many levels sometimes severs those relations, separating us from others along racial, class, gender, sexual, national, or other socially constructed lines.
Fleshing the Spirit offers a spiritual journey of healing, health, and human revolution. The book’s open invitation to engage in critical dialogue and social activism—with the spirit and spirituality at the forefront—illuminates the way to social change and the ability to live in harmony with life’s universal energies.
Norma E. Cantú
C. Alejandra Elenes
Alicia Enciso Litschi
Oliva M. Espín
Inés Hernández- Avila
Rosa María Hernández Juárez
Sarahi Nuñez- Mejia
Laura E. Pérez
Drawing from her many years of experience as a hospice nurse and her training as a theologian, Patricia Kobielus Thompson offers in The Dark Night of the Soul instruction to those providing care for terminally ill patients. Thompson finds in the poetry and other writings of Spanish mystic Saint John of the Cross a wisdom that she argues will assist caregivers in comforting their patients through the trying times just before death. Though much has been written on Saint John of the Cross, Thompson’s application of these works is wholly new and rooted in deep empathy.
Imagine that you've just died. An angel appears in front of you, ready to guide you to the next life. You say to him, "I want to go to heaven." His reply, "OK, let's go!"
In this light-hearted tour of the afterlife, based on the writings of Swedish scientist-turned-seer Emanuel Swedenborg, Albrecht H. Gralle takes the reader on a tour of heaven, hell, and the spaces between. What is it like in heaven? What about hell? What happens to people who have suffered horribly in this life? How do we reconcile that suffering with the idea of an all-loving God? What happens to people who simply don't believe in anything beyond this world? What happens to the people who do? Is there sex in heaven? What about tea?
During pauses in the tour, Gralle poses some hard-hitting questions about the nature of belief that speak directly to people who wonder how a modern, rational person can have faith in the absence of proof. The result is at once humorous and thought-provoking.
For as long as we have sought god, we have found the goddess. Ruling over the imaginations of humankind’s earliest agricultural civilizations, she played a critical spiritual role as a keeper of nature’s fertile powers and an assurance of the next sustaining harvest. In The Goddess, David Leeming and Christopher Fee take us all the way back into prehistory, tracing the goddess across vast spans of time to tell the epic story of the transformation of belief and what it says about who we are.
Leeming and Fee use the goddess to gaze into the lives and souls of the people who worshipped her. They chart the development of traditional Western gender roles through an understanding of the transformation of concepts of the Goddess from her earliest roots in India and Iran to her more familiar faces in Ireland and Iceland. They examine the subordination of the goddess to the god as human civilizations became mobile and began to look upon masculine deities for assurances of survival in movement and battle. And they show how, despite this history, the goddess has remained alive in our spiritual imaginations, in figures such as the Christian Virgin Mother and, in contemporary times, the new-age resurrection of figures such as Gaia.
The Goddess explores this central aspect of ancient spiritual thought as a window into human history and the deepest roots of our beliefs.
In this uplifting new book, author Stephen G. Post explores the mysteries and the wonder of Godly love—the all important love that is at once personal, unconditional, unlimited, generative, and omnipresent. The title alludes to Isaiah 35, to the way in which Godly love is said to plant a rose in our hearts precisely when we feel most like a dry desert with no more love of our own to give.
Post draws on his own life experiences as well as his work at the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, as he intersperses personal anecdotes with spiritual truths and research on human happiness. In the process, he defines the concept of Godly love and illustrates how important it can be in our lives—not only emotionally and spiritually, but physically as well. "Godly love," he writes, "is the only foundation in the universe that we can really lean on."
We all have deserts in life, so we all need Godly love. Without it, the downward slide to cynicism, hostility, and cool indifference can be all too easy. These meditations on the subject will nurture our confidence in the power of a love that is greater than our own, when we need it most.
Although there are several studies dedicated to the lives of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Gilberto Cavazos-González’s Greater Than a Mother’s Love is the first to investigate their spirituality in the context of family relationships. He delves into the writings of Francis and Clare and illustrates how both used observations of their various human relationships to understand their experiences with God. Accompanying this study is an exhaustive bibliography and several appendices that enhance this unique treatment of these two beloved and admired religious figures.
Healing to All Their Flesh asks us to step back and carefully rethink the relationship between religion and health. It does so by examining overlooked issues of theology and meaning that lie at the foundation of religion’s supposed beneficial function. Is a religion-health relationship consistent with understandings of faith within respective traditions? What does this actually imply? What does it not imply? How have these ideas been distorted? Why does this matter—for medicine and healthcare and also for the practice of faith? Is the ultimate relation between spirit and flesh, as mediated by the context of human belief and experience, a topic that can even be approached through empirical observation, scientific reasoning, and the logic of intellectual discourse?8 pag e photo insert
The editors of this collection, Drs. Jeff Levin and Keith G. Meador, have gathered together the writings of leading Jewish and Christian theological, pastoral, ethical, and religious scholars to answer these important questions. Contributors include Richard Address, William Cutter, Elliot N. Dorff, Dayle A. Friedman, Stanley Hauerwas, Warren Kinghorn, M. Therese Lysaught, Stephen G. Post, John Swinton, and Simkha Y. Weintraub, with a foreword by Samuel E. Karff.
In this age of boneless chicken breasts and drive-thru Happy Meals, why do some humans still hunt? Is it a visceral, tooth-and-claw hunger for meat, tied in a primitive savage knot with an innate lust for violence and domination? Or might it be a hunger of an entirely different sort? And if so, what? In Heartsblood, writer and veteran outdoorsman David Petersen offers a thoroughly informed, unsettlingly honest, intensely personal exploration of this increasingly contentious issue. He draws clear distinctions between true hunting and contemporary hunter behavior, praising what's right about the former and damning what's wrong with the latter, as he seeks to render the terms "hunter" and "antihunter" palpable -- to put faces on these much-used but little-understood generalizations.Petersen looks at the evolutionary roots and philosophical underpinnings of hunting, and offers a compelling portrait of an "animistic archetype" -- a paradigm for the true hunter/conservationist that is in sharp contrast with today's technology-laden, gadget-loving sport hunter. He considers the social and ecological implications of trophy hunting and deconstructs the "Bambi syndrome" -- the oversentimentalization of young animals by most Americans, including many hunters. He also explores gender issues in hunting, and highlights important qualities that are largely missing in today's mentoring of tomorrow's hunters.Throughout, Petersen emphasizes the fundamental spiritual aspects of hunting, and offers numerous finely drawn and compelling first-person hunting narratives that explain and provide substance to his arguments. Along with that personal experience, he draws on philosophy, evolutionary theory, biology, and empirical studies to create an engaging and literate work that offers a unique look at hunting, hunters, and, in the words of the author, "life's basic truths."
This new translation of De Novo Hierosolyma Et Ejus Doctrina Coelesti (alternatively translated The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine) by Emanuel Swedenborg presents the ideas of this Swedish visionary in simple, modern English. In the short work, Swedenborg discusses our motivations and inner natures, love and selfishness, and ways in which we can develop ourselves as spiritual people. He also covers different aspects of religion, such as the Bible, observances like baptism and the Holy Supper (Eucharist), the nature of heaven and hell, and how we can apply all these ideas to our daily lives.
How I Would Help the World
HELEN KELLER Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2011 Library of Congress BX8711.K45 2010 | Dewey Decimal 289.4
Swedenborg’s books are an inexhaustible well-spring of satisfaction to those who live the life of the mind. I plunge my hands into my large Braille volumes containing his teachings, and withdraw them full of the secrets of the spiritual world.
— Helen Keller, How I Would Help the World
This essay by Helen Keller expresses her deep gratitude to Emanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish seer, who had a profound influence on her spiritual life. In it she talks about the importance of love and truth in a world filled with materialism and selfishness, and the joy that comes from true understanding.
Her great advice on how she would help the world is to have people read Swedenborg’s writings and thereby overcome the many problems of the human condition. She states, “It would be such a joy to me if I might be the instrument of bringing Swedenborg to a world that is spiritually deaf and blind.” She further states that reading Swedenborg and understanding his words “has been my strongest incitement to overcome limitations.”
Her words are interwoven with photographs of her life and quotes from Swedenborg on spiritual topics. This book will be a treasure for readers who already know and respect Helen Keller and an inspiration for those who do not.
Jean Feraca’s road to self-fulfillment has been as quirky and demanding as the characters in her incredible memoir. A veteran of several decades of public radio broadcasting, Feraca is also a writer and a poet. She is a talk show host beloved for her unique mixture of the humanities, poetry, and journalism, and is the creator of the pioneering international cultural affairs radio program Here on Earth: Radio without Borders.
In this searing memoir, Feraca traces her own emergence. She pulls back the curtain on her private life, revealing unforgettable portraits of the characters in her brawling Italian-American family: Jenny, the grandmother, the devil woman who threw Casey Stengel down an excavation pit; Dolly, the mother, a cross between Long John Silver and the Wife of Bath, who in battling mental illness becomes the scourge of a Lutheran nursing home; and Stephen, the brilliant but troubled older brother, an anthropologist adopted by a Sioux tribe. In a new chapter that reinforces and ties together the book’s exploration of the multiple forms of love, Jean introduces us to Roger, a Wildman and her husband’s best friend with whom she, too, develops an extraordinary intimacy. A selection of fifteen of Feraca’s poems add counterpoint to her engaging prose.
In 2012 Kateri Tekakwitha became the first North American Indian to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, an event that American Indian Catholics have awaited for generations. Saint Kateri, known as the patroness of the environment, was born in 1656 near present-day Albany, New York, to an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father. Tekakwitha converted to Christianity at age nineteen and took a vow of perpetual virginity. Her devotees have advocated for her sainthood since her death in 1680. Within historical Catholic writings, Tekakwitha is portrayed as a model of pious, submissive femininity. Indian Pilgrims moves beyond mainstream narratives and shows that Saint Kateri is a powerful feminine figure who inspires decolonizing activism in contemporary Indigenous peoples’ lives.
Author Michelle M. Jacob examines Saint Kateri’s influence on and relation to three important themes—caring for the environment, building community, and reclaiming the Native feminine as sacred—and brings a Native feminist perspective to the story of Saint Kateri. The book demonstrates the power and potential of Indigenous decolonizing activism, as Saint Kateri’s devotees claim the space of the Catholic Church to revitalize traditional cultural practices, teach and learn Indigenous languages, and address critical issues such as protecting Indigenous homelands from environmental degradation. The book is based on ethnographic research at multiple sites, including Saint Kateri’s 2012 canonization festivities in Vatican City and Italy, the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation (New York and Canada), the Yakama Reservation (Washington), and the National Tekakwitha Conferences in Texas, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Through narratives from these events, Jacob addresses issues of gender justice—such as respecting the autonomy of women while encouraging collectivist thinking and strategizing—and seeks collective remedies that challenge colonial and capitalist filters.
Many people think of spiritual growth as solitary work that happens outside of everyday life. But through decades of group work, authors Frank Rose and Bob Maginel have developed a program of spiritual growth that works best in the midst of daily living.
Through a series of eight exercises, readers learn how to raise their awareness and their spirits to a higher level, to connect more readily with their Higher Power, and to unlock authentic spiritual joy even at life’s most challenging moments. For people working in groups, the authors include suggestions for structuring spiritual growth meetings and tools for discussion facilitators. For individuals using the book alone, Rose and Maginel provide transcripts of their own group’s discussions, challenges, and “Aha!” moments, so the reader can share in the group experience.
Building on their previous book, The Joy of Spiritual Growth, Rose and Maginel offer more of the gentle wisdom and practical techniques that have made their spiritual growth program an enduring success.
This book includes guidance as well as information and inspiration. There are practical recommendations on how to perform acts of kindness in personal lives and at work, toward friends, colleagues, and family members—even with one's enemies. Suggestions are also offered on ways to encourage others to be kind so they, too, can experience the joy that results.
LIGHT IN MY DARKNESS
HELEN KELLER Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2000 Library of Congress BX8721.K35 2000 | Dewey Decimal 289.4092
One of Time's women of the century, Helen Keller, reveals her mystical side in this best-selling spiritual autobiography. Writing that her first reading of Emanuel Swedenborg at age fourteen gave her truths that were "to my faculties what light, color and music are to the eye and ear," she explains how Swedenborg's works sustained her throughout her life.
This new edition includes a foreword by Dorothy Herrmann, author of the acclaimed Helen Keller: A Life, and a new chapter, "Epilogue: My Luminous Universe."
Until his mid-fifties, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was merely a genius. As a young man, he traveled extensively throughout Europe to study the cutting-edge science of his time. Upon returning to his native Sweden, he went to work for the board of mines, where he introduced technical advances and gained an international reputation for his understanding of mechanics and metallurgy. In his spare time, he published studies in mathematics, astronomy, economic theory, and anatomy.
As his professional career was winding to a close, a remarkable spiritual awakening changed the course of his life. He believed that God allowed him to journey in spirit form to the afterlife and talk to angels, devils, and the spirits of the departed—not just once, but continuously, for decades—and he spent the rest of his life recording what he saw.
The Lives of Angels is a collection of Swedenborg’s most striking insights about life in heaven, with vivid descriptions of angels’ homes, their language, their communities, and even their romantic relationships. He tells us that angels are with us throughout our lives, guiding and supporting us, and that any person on earth can become an angel after death if he or she is loving and selfless. The introduction by Grant Schnarr gives readers a modern framework for understanding Swedenborg’s compelling vision of the spiritual world.
In Living Spirit, Living Practice, the well-known cultural studies scholar Ruth Frankenberg turns her attention to the remarkably diverse nature of religious practice within the United States today. Frankenberg provides a nuanced consideration of the making and living of religious lives as well as the mystery and poetry of spiritual practice. She undertakes a subtle sociocultural analysis of compelling in-depth interviews with fifty women and men, diverse in race, ethnicity, national origin, class, age, and sexuality. Tracing the complex interweaving of sacred and secular languages in the way interviewees make sense of the everyday and the extraordinary, Frankenberg explores modes of communication with the Divine, the role of the body, the importance of geography, work for progressive social change, and the relation of sex to spirituality.
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other practitioners come together here, speaking in terms both familiar and surprising. Whether discussing an Episcopalian deacon, a former Zen Buddhist who is now a rabbi, a Chicano monastic, an immigrant Muslim woman, a Japanese American Tibetan Buddhist, or a gay African American practicing in the Hindu tradition, Frankenberg illuminates the most intimate, local, and singular aspects of individual lives while situating them within the broad, dynamic canvas of the U.S. religious landscape.
This original, highly readable book poses a clear distinction between our customary form of love, which almost guarantees failure, and higher, more generous ways of loving that can succeed and enrich both individuals and society as a whole. Love That Works draws on history, psychology, and the theology and science of love to offer a proposal on how to be successful in love and romance. It starts by showing why love fails to meet expectations, often ending sadly or even tragically.
Sudhir Kakar, India’s foremost practitioner of psychoanalysis, has focused his career on infusing this preeminently Western discipline with ideas and views from the East. In Mad and Divine, he takes on the separation of the spirit and the body favored by psychoanalysts, cautioning that a single-minded focus on the physical denies a person’s wholeness. Similarly, Kakar argues, to focus on the spirit alone is to hold in contempt the body that makes us human.
Mad and Divine looks at the interplay between spirit and psyche and the moments of creativity and transformation that occur when the spirit overcomes desire and narcissism. Kakar examines this relationship in religious rituals and healing traditions— both Eastern and Western—as well as in the lives of some extraordinary men: the mystic and guru Rajneesh, Gandhi, and the Buddhist saint Drukpa Kunley.
Enriched with a novelist’s felicity of language and an analyst’s piercing insights and startling interpretations, Mad and Divine is a valuable addition to the literature on the integration of the spirit and psyche in the evolving psychology of the individual.
In the last fifteen years, the field of palliative care has experienced a surge in interest in spirituality as an important aspect of caring for seriously ill and dying patients. While spirituality has been generally recognized as an essential dimension of palliative care, uniformity of spiritual care practice has been lacking across health care settings due to factors like varying understandings and definitions of spirituality, lack of resources and practical tools, and limited professional education and training in spiritual care.
In order to address these shortcomings, more than forty spiritual and palliative care experts gathered for a national conference to discuss guidelines for incorporating spirituality into palliative care. Their consensus findings form the basis of Making Health Care Whole. This important new resource provides much-needed definitions and charts a common language for addressing spiritual care across the disciplines of medicine, nursing, social work, chaplaincy, psychology, and other groups. It presents models of spiritual care that are broad and inclusive, and provides tools for screening, assessment, care planning, and interventions. This book also advocates a team approach to spiritual care, and specifies the roles of each professional on the team.
Serving as both a scholarly review of the field as well as a practical resource with specific recommendations to improve spiritual care in clinical practice, Making Health Care Whole will benefit hospices and palliative care programs in hospitals, home care services, and long-term care services. It will also be a valuable addition to the curriculum at seminaries, schools of theology, and medical and nursing schools.
Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941) achieved international fame in 1911 with the publication of her book, Mysticism, now in its eighteenth edition. In the course of her long career she published nearly forty books, including three novels and two volumes of poetry, as well as numerous poems in periodicals. She was the religion editor for Spectator, a friend of T. S. Eliot (her influence is visible in his last masterpiece, Four Quartets), and the first woman invited to lecture on theology at Oxford University.
In time for the centennial celebration of her classic Mysticism, this volume of Underhill's letters will enable readers and researchers to follow her as she reconciled her beliefs with her daily life. The letters reveal her personal and theological development and clarify the relationships that influenced her life and work. Drawing from collections previously unknown to scholars, this volume demonstrates an exceptional range and scope, including Underhill's earliest letters from boarding school to her mother, correspondence with Nobel prize laureate Rabindinrath Tagore and Sir James Frazier, and a letter written to T. S. Eliot from what was to be her deathbed in London in 1941 as the London Blitz blazed around her.
Medicine, Religion, and Health: Where Science and Spirituality Meet will be the first title published in the new Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this, the series' maiden volume, Dr. Harold G. Koenig provides an overview of the relationship between health care and religion that manages to be comprehensive yet concise, factual yet inspirational, and technical yet easily accessible to nonspecialists and general readers.
Focusing on the scientific basis for integrating spirituality into medicine, Koenig carefully summarizes major trends, controversies, and the latest research from a wide variety of disciplines and provides plausible and compelling theoretical explanations for what has thus far emerged in this relatively young field of study. Medicine, Religion, and Health begins by defining the principal terms and then moves on to a brief history of the role that religion has played in medicine before delving into the current state of research. Koenig devotes several chapters to exploring the outcomes of specific studies in fields such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. The book concludes with a review of the clinical applications that can be derived from the research. Koenig also supplies several detailed appendices that will aid readers of all levels looking for further information.
Medicine, Religion, and Health will shed new light on important contemporary issues and will whet readers' appetites for more information on this fascinating, complex, and controversial area of research, clinical activity, and popular discussion. It will find a welcome home on the bookshelves of students, researchers, clinicians, and other health professionals in a variety of disciplines.
This collection presents a rich, multidisciplinary inquiry into the role of religion in the Mexican American community. Breaking new ground by analyzing the influence of religion on Mexican American literature, art, activism, and popular culture, it makes the case for the establishment of Mexican American religious studies as a distinct, recognized field of scholarly inquiry. Scholars of religion, Latin American, and Chicano/a studies as well as of sociology, anthropology, and literary and performance studies, address several broad themes. Taking on questions of history and interpretation, they examine the origins of Mexican American religious studies and Mario Barrera’s theory of internal colonialism. In discussions of the utopian community founded by the preacher and activist Reies López Tijerina, César Chávez’s faith-based activism, and the Los Angeles-based Católicos Por La Raza movement of the late 1960s, other contributors focus on mystics and prophets. Still others illuminate popular Catholicism by looking at Our Lady of Guadalupe, home altars, and Los Pastores dramas (nativity plays) as vehicles for personal, social, and political empowerment.
Turning to literature, contributors consider Gloria Anzaldúa’s view of the borderlands as a mystic vision and the ways that Chicana writers invoke religious symbols and rhetoric to articulate a moral vision highlighting social injustice. They investigate the role of healing, looking at it in relation to both the Latino Pentecostal movement and the practice of the curanderismo tradition in East Los Angeles. Delving into to popular culture, they reflect on Luis Valdez’s video drama La Pastorela: “The Shepherds’ Play,” the spirituality of Chicana art, and the religious overtones of the reverence for the slain Tejana music star Selena. This volume signals the vibrancy and diversity of the practices, arts, traditions, and spiritualities that reflect and inform Mexican American religion.
Contributors: Rudy V. Busto, Davíd Carrasco, Socorro Castañeda-Liles, Gastón Espinosa, Richard R. Flores, Mario T. García, María Herrera-Sobek, Luís D. León, Ellen McCracken, Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett, Laura E. Pérez, Roberto Lint Saragena, Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Kay Turner
The popularity of yoga and Zen meditation has heightened awareness of somatic practices. Individuals develop the conscious embodiment central to somatics work via movement and dance, or through touch from a skilled teacher or therapist often called a somatic bodyworker. Methods of touch and movement foster generative processes of consciousness in order to create a fluid interconnection between sensation, thought, movement, and expression. In Moving Consciously , Sondra Fraleigh gathers essays that probe ideas surrounding embodied knowledge and the conscious embodiment of movement and dance. Using a variety of perspectives on movement and dance somatics, Fraleigh and other contributors draw on scholarship and personal practice to participate in a multifaceted investigation of a thriving worldwide phenomenon. Their goal: to present the mental and physical health benefits of experiencing one's inner world through sensory awareness and movement integration. A stimulating addition to a burgeoning field, Moving Consciously incorporates concepts from East and West into a timely look at life-changing, intertwined practices that involve dance, movement, performance studies, and education. Contributors: Richard Biehl, Robert Bingham, Hillel Braude, Alison East, Sondra Fraleigh, Kelly Ferris Lester, Karin Rugman, Catherine Schaeffer, Jeanne Schul, and Ruth Way.
A woman who lived in silent darkness describes a world of love, light, and color. Where did Helen Keller find the strength and courage to break out of her silent and dark world and discover light? What inner resources of faith helped her overcome the limits of her physical body? In My Religion, this dynamic woman describes the spiritual odyessy that brought her to a faith that opened her spiritual sight.
This recording was originally made in 1960 by actress Lillian Gish and remastered for a new release.
A woman who lived in silent darkness describes a world of love, light, and color. Where did Helen Keller find the strength and courage to break out of her silent and dark world and discover light? What inner resources of faith helped her overcome the limits of her physical body? In My Religion, this dynamic woman describes the spiritual odyessy that brought her to a faith that opened her spiritual sight.
This recording was originally made in 1960 by actress Lillian Gish and remastered for a new release.
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2016 Library of Congress BX8712.H7 2016 | Dewey Decimal 230.94
Emanuel Swedenborg understood the city of New Jerusalem--as described in the book of Revelation--to mean not a physical city but an epoch of history, a new spiritual age that was just beginning to take shape during his lifetime in the eighteenth century.
This short work, presented as a series of teachings that characterize this spiritual age to come, is also one of Swedenborg's most concise and readable summaries of his own theology. Building on fundamental concepts such as good, truth, will, and understanding, he describes the importance of love and usefulness in spiritual growth. In the second half of the volume he focuses on how this new theology relates to the church of his day and to church teachings about the Bible, the Lord's incarnation on earth, and rites such as baptism and the Holy Supper. Each short chapter is followed by extensive references back to his theological magnum opus, Secrets of Heaven.
This volume is an excellent starting point for those who want an overview of Swedenborg's theology presented in his own words.
American spirituality—with its focus on individual meaning, experience, and exploration—is usually thought to be a product of the postmodern era. But, as The New Metaphysicals makes clear, contemporary American spirituality has historic roots in the nineteenth century and a great deal in common with traditional religious movements. To explore this world, Courtney Bender combines research into the history of the movement with fieldwork in Cambridge, Massachusetts—a key site of alternative religious inquiry from Emerson and William James to today. Through her ethnographic analysis, Bender discovers that a focus on the new, on progress, and on the way spiritual beliefs intersect with science obscures the historical roots of spirituality from its practitioners and those who study it alike—and shape an enduring set of modern religious possibilities in the process.
Based on the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Maurice Nicoll, and Emanuel Swedenborg, Peter Rhodes presents a practical guide to spiritual progress. Stressing personal responsibility for overcoming negative traits, each chapter explains how we can realize our true spiritual potential by cultivating awareness of our baser reactions and by applying the tools of Gurdjieff's spiritual method, "The Work," to our everyday existence.
Rhodes joins "The Work" with the spiritual philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg to enhance our understanding of how the world of spirit intersects our lives on the earthly level. At the conclusion of each chapter, tools for measuring the reader's progress are provided in the form of weekly tasks and meditations. This book can be used in group workshops or by the individual.
An engaging anthology that deals with both theory and practice
The emerging discipline of biblical spirituality considers how faith finds expression within the biblical texts and how modern expressions of faith interact with those texts. This volume represents Christo Lombaard’s reflective, analytical, and exegetical contributions to the field in order to explore how biblical texts mediate faith, both ancient and contemporary. It reflects on aspects of the interaction of faith and Scripture, critically approaching both dimensions.
Seven previously published papers drawn predominately from South African journals
Explorations of how biblical texts mediate faith
Close examination of the discipline of biblical spirituality as part of spirituality studies
The counting of the Omer begins with the escape from enslavement to the wandering path of freedom, leading to a mystical encounter with God, Sinai and Torah. This volume, beginning with its informative contextual introduction, provides a spiritual guide for a personal journey through the Omer toward meaningful and purposeful living. Beautiful and evocative readings for each day, matched with the daily Omer blessing, offer a transformative path from Passover to Shavuot.
What do modern multiverse theories and spiritualist séances have in common? Not much, it would seem. One is an elaborate scientific theory developed by the world’s most talented physicists. The other is a spiritual practice widely thought of as backward, the product of a mystical world view fading under the modern scientific gaze.
But Christopher G. White sees striking similarities. He does not claim that séances or other spiritual practices are science. Yet he points to ways that both spiritual practices and scientific speculation about multiverses and invisible dimensions are efforts to peer into the hidden elements and even the existential meaning of the universe. Other Worlds examines how the idea that the universe has multiple, invisible dimensions has inspired science fiction, fantasy novels, films, modern art, and all manner of spiritual thought reaching well beyond the realm of formal religion. Drawing on a range of international archives, White analyzes how writers, artists, filmmakers, televangelists, and others have used the scientific idea of invisible dimensions to make supernatural phenomena such as ghosts and miracles seem more reasonable and make spiritual beliefs possible again for themselves and others.
Many regard scientific ideas as disenchanting and secularizing, but Other Worlds shows that these ideas—creatively appropriated in such popular forms as C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, the art of Salvador Dalí, or the books of the counterculture physicist “Dr. Quantum”—restore a sense that the world is greater than anything our eyes can see, helping to forge an unexpected kind of spirituality.
San Juan de la Cruz, the great sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, is regarded by many as Spain's finest poet. Passionate, ecstatic, and spiritual, his poems are a blend of exquisite lyricism and profound mystical thought. In The Poems of St. John of the Cross John Frederick Nims presents his superlative translation of the complete poems, re-creating the religious fervor of St. John's art.
This dual-language edition makes available the original Spanish from the Codex of Sanlúcon de Barrameda with facing English translations. The work concludes with two essays—a critique of the poetry and a short piece on the Spanish text that appears alongside the translation—as well as brief notes on the individual poems.
<p>Bringing together a never-before-assembled network of biologists, psychologists, and sociologists, <em>Positive Youth Development and Spirituality</em> scientifically examines how spirituality and its cultivation may affect the positive development of adolescents. </p>
<p>Chapters provide groundbreaking new discussions of conceptual, theoretical, definitional, and methodological issues that need to be addressed when exploring the relationships between spirituality and development. Throughout the book, contributors recommend ways in which the research on the spirituality/positive youth development connection may be integral in building the larger field of spiritual development as a legitimate and active domain of developmental science. This volume, which is sure to be seen as a seminal contribution to a field in need of theoretical underpinnings, will be of interest to scholars and scientists in the fields of biology and the social and behavioral sciences.</p>
<p>Contributors include: Mona Abo-Zena, Jeffrey Jensen Arnnett, Peter L. Benson, Marina Umaschi Bers, Aerika Brittian, William Damon, Angela M. DeSilva, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, David Henry Feldman, Simon Gächter, Elena L. Grigorenko, Sonia S. Isaac, Lene Arnett Jensen, Carl N. Johnson, Linda Juang, Pamela Ebstyne King, Richard M. Lerner, Jennifer Menon, Na'ilah Sued Nasir, Guerda Nicolas, Toma´š Paus, Stephen C. Peck, Erin Phelps, Alan P. Poey, Robert W. Roeser, W. George Scarlett, Lonnie R. Sherrod, Gabriel S. Spiewak, Chris Starmer, Moin Syed, Janice L. Templeton, Heather L. Urry, and Richard Wilkinson.</p>
Marianna Torgovnick's Primitive Passions investigates Westerners' profound attraction to cultures that we call "primitive." Torgovnick explores the stories of Carl Jung, Isak Dinesen, D. H. Lawrence, and Georgia O'Keefe and the ways they used the primitive as a medium for soul-searching and personal fulfillment. Brilliantly linking literature, art, psychology, and cultural studies, Primitive Passions provides insight into our very notion of the exotic.
"Primitive Passions intends to provoke thought, not to tell you what you already know and for that reason alone it's extraordinary."—Walter Kendrick, New York Times Book Review
"A powerfully argued, impassioned, and intelligent exploration of the 'primitive' in our culture and in ourselves. Like Marianna Torgovnick's previous work, it is certain to be much discussed and provocative."—Joyce Carol Oates
"An inspiring effort to bring gender to bear on matters of race, ethnic identity, and spirituality."—Susan Gubar
"A fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative tour of twentieth century Western culture."—Cynthia D. Schrager, Women's Review of Books
Eighty million baby boomers are heading toward retirement. Some are retiring now, either out of choice or because they have been laid off. Others will work for a few more years until their retirement plans kick in, until they feel they can retire, or until they're forced to retire. Whatever their age at retirement, they will have better health and live longer than their parents. And each of them will face these questions:
•Do I want a reason to get up in the morning and be excited about the day ahead?
•Do I still want to make a difference in the world?
They need a vision—a goal that takes into account their experience, wisdom, strengths, and limitations, and gives purpose to their lives.
Dr. Harold G. Koenig, with expertise in the fields of geriatrics, mental health, and religion, explains that the notion of retirement was in fact a marketing tool developed in the post–World War II period. Continuing today, society's image of retirement is based largely on myths, such as: things will get better when you retire—you'll be able to do everything you wanted to but couldn't when you worked. In fact, these beliefs can be harmful, leading to emotional issues, identity crises, and problems with physical health.
Citing current scientific and medical research, Koenig illustrates how having a purpose motivates and energizes people in their retirement years. He presents a step-by-step guide to identifying a goal toward which they can strive. And he shows how striving for that goal in itself brings meaning, satisfaction, and a sense of reward to retirement years.
"Finding purpose is more urgent than ever during the retirement years, when the search for purpose becomes one of the deepest of human longings," says Koenig. His Purpose and Power in Retirement is an invaluable resource for everyone heading toward retirement, and for anyone seeking meaning in life.
The Rebirth of the Clinic begins with a bold assertion: the doctor-patient relationship is sick. Fortunately, as this engrossing book demonstrates, the damage is not irreparable. Today, patients voice their desires to be seen not just as bodies, but as whole people. Though not willing to give up scientific progress and all it has to offer, they sense the need for more. Patients want a form of medicine that can heal them in body and soul. This movement is reflected in medical school curricula, in which courses in spirituality and health care are taught alongside anatomy and physiology. But how can health care workers translate these concepts into practice? How can they strike an appropriate balance, integrating and affirming spirituality without abandoning centuries of science or unwittingly adopting pseudoscience?
Physician and philosopher Daniel Sulmasy is uniquely qualified to guide readers through this terrain. At the outset of this accessible, engaging volume, he explores the nature of illness and healing, focusing on health care's rich history as a spiritual practice and on the human dignity of the patient. Combining sound theological reflection with doses of healthy skepticism, he goes on to describe empirical research on the effects of spirituality on health, including scientific studies of the healing power of prayer, emphasizing that there are reasons beyond even promising research data to attend to the souls of patients. Finally, Sulmasy devotes special attention and compassion to the care of people at the end of life, incorporating the stories of several of his patients.
Throughout, the author never strays from the theme that, for physicians, attending to the spiritual needs of patients should not be a moral option, but a moral obligation. This book is an essential resource for scholars and students of medicine and medical ethics and especially medical students and health care professionals.
Performance has become a paradigm for analyzing contemporary culture, a pattern that structures a particular view of human interaction and experience. Performance is also widely used to better understand how we express values and ideas, including religious beliefs. Reckoning with Spirit in the Paradigm of Performance asks how the sensibilities of religious experience, which many people call spirituality, shape people's performance. When we observe people performing words, dances, music, and rituals they consider sacred, what (if any) conclusions can we draw about their experiences from what we see, read, and hear? By analyzing performances of spirituality and what people experience as "spirit," this book adds a new dimension to the paradigm of performance.
Rather than reducing the spiritual dimension to either biology or culture, the book asks what such experiences might have to offer a reasoned analysis of vernacular culture. The specific performances presented are meditative dance and shamanic drumming, including descriptions of these practices and exegesis of practitioners' writings on the nature of spiritual experience and performance.
Centuries before popular Western culture embraced meditation, positive thinking, and the quest for enlightenment, Swedish scientist-turned-seer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) developed a simple formula for achieving personal spiritual growth.
In his works, Swedenborg describes the two parts of our mind: the intellectual side that wrestles with questions of right and wrong, and the emotional side that drives us toward what we truly love. We are born with selfish impulses and desires, and while we may learn to act ethically, we don’t start growing as spiritual people until we transform our emotional side. That transformation, he says, happens from the outside in: first we decide intellectually to be more loving, and that decision leads us to choose consciously to act for the good of others. These external thoughts and actions gradually open us to a higher love, one that transforms our desires and ultimately our fundamental being. He calls this process regeneration.
Swedenborg discusses regeneration in many places throughout his prolific theological writings. This book brings his key teachings on this topic together in one volume, illustrating the process of becoming a spiritual being and discussing how and why that process works.
This book contains a collection of John Templeton's favorite inspirational passages.
“From the Bible, from philosophers and poets, and from other writers, we begin to form a clear understanding of the spiritual and ethical laws of life. The world's literature teaches us valuable lessons that no amount of money can buy. Those lessonsare there for everyone. They are free and they are priceless.”—John Marks Templeton
Sacred Scripture / White Horse
EMANUEL SWEDENBORG Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2015 Library of Congress BX8711.A7D6513 2015 | Dewey Decimal 289.4
Throughout his theological writings, Emanuel Swedenborg devotes more pages to discussing the inner, spiritual meaning of the Bible than to any other topic. In the two short works Sacred Scripture and White Horse, he provides the spiritual theory behind the verse-by-verse analysis found in his multivolume works Secrets of Heaven and Revelation Unveiled.
In Sacred Scripture, Swedenborg explains how the inner meaning of the Bible relates to its outer (literal) meaning, and he cites numerous biblical passages to show how similar themes emerge again and again. He describes two distinct layers of inner meaning—the heavenly and the spiritual—and shows how an understanding of that inner meaning strengthens a person’s connection with Deity and with heaven. White Horse begins with a short summary of the spiritual meaning of the white horse described in Revelation 19:11. In form, what then follows is a series of statements about the inner meaning of the Bible with references to explanatory passages in Secrets of Heaven. However, when read in sequence, those statements are also a concise summary of Swedenborg’s theology of biblical interpretation.
The perspective provided by these two short works allows the reader to see through the Bible’s clouds of baffling, obscure, and seemingly inconsistent details to the power and unity of divine love and wisdom within the text. Students or seekers interested in Swedenborg’s teachings about the interrelationship between the spiritual world and the physical one will find this volume a helpful guide. Sacred Scripture / White Horse is part of the New Century Edition of the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (NCE), an ongoing translation series. The NCE series incorporates the latest scholarship and translation standards for a more accurate and accessible rendering of Swedenborg’s works.
Spirituality is an important part of many clients’ lives. It can be a resource for stabilization, healing, and growth. It can also be the cause of struggle and even harm. More and more therapists—those who consider themselves spiritual and those who do not—recognize the value of addressing spirituality in therapy and increasing their skill for engaging it ethically and effectively.
In this immensely practical book, Russell Siler Jones helps therapists feel more competent and confident about having spiritual conversations with clients. With a refreshing, down-to-earth style, he describes how to recognize the diverse explicit and implicit ways spirituality can appear in psychotherapy, how to assess the impact spirituality is having on clients, how to make interventions to maximize its healthy impact and lessen its unhealthy impact, and how therapists can draw upon their own spirituality in ethical and skillful ways. He includes extended case studies and clinical dialogue so readers can hear how spirituality becomes part of case conceptualization and what spiritual conversation actually sounds like in psychotherapy.
Jones has been a therapist for nearly 30 years and has trained therapists in the use of spirituality for over a decade. He writes about a complex topic with an elegant simplicity and provides how-to advice in a way that encourages therapists to find their own way to apply it.
Spirit in Session is a pragmatic guide that therapists will turn to again and again as they engage their clients in one of the most meaningful and consequential dimensions of human experience.
We tend to approach conflict from the perspective of competing interests. A farmer’s interest lies in preserving water for crops, while an environmentalist’s interest is in using that same water for instream habitats. It’s hard to see how these interests intersect. But what if there was a different way to understand each party’s needs?
Aaron T. Wolf has spent his career mediating such conflicts, both in the U.S. and around the world. He quickly learned that in negotiations, people are not automatons, programed to defend their positions, but are driven by a complicated set of dynamics—from how comfortable (or uncomfortable) the meeting room is to their deepest senses of self. What approach or system of understanding could possibly untangle all these complexities? Wolf’s answer may be surprising to Westerners who are accustomed to separating religion from science, rationality from spirituality.
Wolf draws lessons from a diversity of faith traditions to transform conflict. True listening, as practiced by Buddhist monks, as opposed to the “active listening” advocated by many mediators, can be the key to calming a colleague’s anger. Alignment with an energy beyond oneself, what Christians would call grace, can change self-righteousness into community concern. Shifting the discussion from one about interests to one about common values—both farmers and environmentalists share the value of love of place—can be the starting point for real dialogue.
As a scientist, Wolf engages religion not for the purpose of dogma but for the practical process of transformation. Whether atheist or fundamentalist, Muslim or Jewish, Quaker or Hindu, any reader involved in difficult dialogue will find concrete steps towards a meeting of souls.
How often do you find moments of deep peace and satisfaction in your day-to-day life? How often does connection with other people, the divine, or nature make you feel more alive? How often are you touched by a sense of awe-inspiring beauty, compassionate love, or pure joy? For many of us, these kinds of experiences tend to be fleeting and all too rare. Fortunately, new research is suggesting that a regular practice of paying attention to experiences like these can help any of us find them more often and cultivate richer, deeper, and more satisfying lives.
In Spiritual Connection in Daily Life, Lynn Underwood introduces her Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES), which is comprised of sixteen simple, multiple-choice questions that invite us to become more attuned tothese extraordinary experiences in ordinary life. The DSES is the definitive set of questions for measuring the experience of spiritual connection and has been used in hundreds of studies, translated into over twenty languages, and used around the world by counselors, therapists, nurses, social workers, clergy from multiple faiths, and business leaders.
Spiritual Connection in Daily Life offers a step-by-step guide to using the DSES to improve our abilities to sense the “more than” in the midst of our days. Embraced by people from many different cultures, religious traditions, and professional backgrounds, the DSES doesn’t require any extraordinary experience like hearing divine voices or embarking upon a dramatic religious conversion. Nor does it belabor the exact definition of “spirituality.” Rather, it simply invites us to focus on aspects of our daily lives such as deep peace, sense of inner strength, longing, and compassionate love. The sixteen questions also provide a common, nonpolarizing language for communicating with others about the role of the “more than” in our lives.
Adherents of all faith traditions, as well as people with no religious leanings whatsoever, have experienced profound and lasting benefits from having these experiences, including improved health behaviors, better relationships, decreased stress and burnout, and improvements in daily mood. Now all of us can reap these same long-term benefits with just a little bit of self-reflection and Dr. Underwood’s expert guidance.
Ever since the first edition of Verna Benner Carson's Spiritual Dimensions of Nursing Practice went out of print, second-hand copies have been highly sought after by practitioners in the field and nursing school faculty who appreciated the comprehensive scope of the seminal work on spirituality and health. In this highly anticipated revised edition, Carson and her co-editor, Harold G. Koenig, have thoroughly revised and updated this classic in the field.
The revised edition builds on the foundations laid in the first, providing perspectives on new research in the spiritual dimensions of nursing care, applying nursing theory to spiritual care, and addressing the spiritual needs of both nurses and patients. It also examines ethical issues in nursing and the impact of legal decisions on health care issues. Contributors address issues of spiritual development across the entire lifespan—from the spiritual needs and influences of the very young to the elderly, including those facing chronic illnesses or death. The volume takes a similarly broad approach in addressing spiritual issues from a variety of faith backgrounds—including both theistic and pantheistic religious practices, so that nurses can be prepared to meet the needs of patients from various religious traditions.
Second to chaplains, nurses are the major providers of spiritual care, and no other book will serve their needs like Spiritual Dimensions of Nursing Practice.
In Spirituality and Health Research: Methods, Measurement, Statistics, and Resources, Dr. Harold G. Koenig leads a comprehensive overview of this complex subject. Dr. Koenig is one of the world’s leading authorities on the relationship between spirituality and health, and a leading researcher on the topic. As such, he is distinctively qualified to author such a book.
This unique source of information on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality, and health includes practical information that goes well beyond what is typically taught in most undergraduate, graduate, or even post-doctoral level courses. This volume reviews what research has been done, discusses the strengths and limitations of that research, provides a research agenda for the future that describes the most important studies that need to be done to advance the field, and describes how to actually conduct that research (design, statistical analysis, and publication of results). It also covers practical matters such as how to write fundable grants to support the research, where to find sources of funding support for research in this area, and what can be done even if the researcher has little or no funding support.
The information gathered together here, which has been reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by research design and statistical experts, has been acquired during a span of over twenty-five years that Dr. Koenig spent conducting research, reviewing others’ research, reviewing research grants, and interacting with mainstream biomedical researchers both within and outside the field of spirituality and health. The material is presented in an easy to read and readily accessible form that will benefit researchers at almost any level of training and experience.
Today, the surprisingly elastic form of the memoir embraces subjects that include dying, illness, loss, relationships, and self-awareness. Writing to reveal the inner self—the pilgrimage into one’s spiritual and/or religious nature—is a primary calling. Contemporary memoirists are exploring this field with innovative storytelling, rigorous craft, and new styles of confessional authorship. Now, Thomas Larson brings his expertise as a critic, reader, and teacher to the boldly evolving and improvisatory world of spiritual literature.
In his book-length essay Spirituality and the Writer, Larson surveys the literary insights of authors old and new who have shaped religious autobiography and spiritual memoir—from Augustine to Thomas Merton, from Peter Matthiessen to Cheryl Strayed. He holds them to an exacting standard: they must render transcendent experience in the writing itself. Only when the writer’s craft prevails can the fleeting and profound personal truths of the spirit be captured. Like its predecessor, Larson’s The Memoir and the Memoirist,Spirituality and the Writer will find a home in writing classrooms and book groups, and be a resource for students, teachers, and writers who seek guidance with exploring their spiritual lives.
Spirituality, Gender, and the Self in Renaissance Italy places St. Angela Merici and her Company of St. Ursula in historical and religious context and examines them from a variety of perspectives: institutional, social, spiritual, and cultural.
This book is intended as a guide for practicing physicians, medical students, and residents to help identify and address the spiritual needs of patients. Those who will benefit most will be physicians who wish to know how to integrate spirituality into clinical practice in an effective and sensitive manner. Other professionals, such as nurses and chaplains, may use this book as they interact with doctors, other health professionals, and hospital administrators.
“I highly recommend this book as reading for all physicians and would certainly recommend it for any course on medical ethics and/or required reading for any medical student.”—Journal of the National Medical Association
Since the publication of the first edition of Spirituality in Patient Care in 2002, the book has earned a reputation as the authoritative introduction to the subject for health professionals interested in identifying and addressing the spiritual needs of patients. The body of research on religion, spirituality, and health continues to grow at a dramatic rate, creating an urgent need for a new edition of this landmark work. In this, the third edition, Harold G. Koenig, M.D., updates every chapter by incorporating the newest research and introducing sensible ways of translating that research into caring for patients.
Like previous editions, this new one addresses the whys, hows, whens, and whats of patient-centered integration of spirituality into patient care so that health professionals, including physicians in primary care and the medical and surgical specialties, can utilize this information in clinical practice. Whole chapters are also included offering profession-specific information for nurses, clergy, mental health professionals, social workers, and occupational and physical therapists. Other chapters address topics like culturally and spiritually sensitive care for each major religious group, potential limitations or barriers to application, and even what may happen when research on spirituality and health is misapplied. Throughout these chapters, readers will find new case histories and clinical examples on how to integrate spirituality into patient care depending on their particular circumstances. A ten-session model course curriculum on spirituality and health care for medical students and residents is also provided, with suggestions on how to adapt it for nursing, social work, physical and occupational therapy, and mental health training programs.
For more than ten years Spirituality in Patient Care has offered sound guidance to anyone wishing to do more than simply treat their patients’ physical symptoms. Treating the whole patient often requires becoming something more than just a skilled technician. With this new edition, Dr. Koenig once again shows the way for any health professional seeking to bridge this gap and help patientsregain their lives by finding hope, meaning, and healing.
This landmark handbook for health professionals interested in identifying and addressing the spiritual needs of patients has been significantly revised and expanded. Over the past five years, since the first edition was written, there has been increased research on the relationships among religion, spirituality, and health, and further discussions on the application of these findings to clinical practice. Every section of the book has been rewritten and updated with current research. "I think this version will be my most important contribution to the field of spirituality and health," says Dr. Koenig. "Every bit of what I know about the integration of spirituality into clinical practice, learned over twenty years, is contained in this book."
Koenig addresses the whys, hows, whens, and whats of patient-centered integration of spirituality into patient care, including details on the health-related sacred traditions for each major religious group. He provides health care professionals with the training necessary to screen patients sensitively and competently for spiritual needs, begin to communicate with patients about these issues, and learn when to refer patients to trained spiritual-care professionals who can competently address spiritual needs.
New sections specifically address mental-health professionals, nurses, chaplains and pastoral counselors, social workers, and occupational and physical therapists.
A ten-session model course curriculum on spirituality and health care for medical students and residents is provided, with suggestions on how to adapt it for the training of nurses, social workers, and rehabilitation specialists.
Talking to the Dead is an ethnography of seven Gullah/Geechee women from the South Carolina lowcountry. These women communicate with their ancestors through dreams, prayer, and visions and traditional crafts and customs, such as storytelling, basket making, and ecstatic singing in their churches. Like other Gullah/Geechee women of the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, these women, through their active communication with the deceased, make choices and receive guidance about how to live out their faith and engage with the living. LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant emphasizes that this communication affirms the women's spiritual faith—which seamlessly integrates Christian and folk traditions—and reinforces their position as powerful culture keepers within Gullah/Geechee society. By looking in depth at this long-standing spiritual practice, Manigault-Bryant highlights the subversive ingenuity that lowcountry inhabitants use to thrive spiritually and to maintain a sense of continuity with the past.
Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) writes that the Ten Commandments are the most important part of the Bible. They encapsulate what we need to do to grow as spiritual people, with a meaning that penetrates far beyond the surface level of words and deeds.
One of the fundamentals of Swedenborg’s theology is the concept that underlying the literal text of the Bible is an inner spiritual meaning. Using this method of interpretation, Swedenborg peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal a cohesive set of teachings with both practical applications and far-reaching spiritual implications.
Although Swedenborg discusses the Ten Commandments in many places throughout his writings, he wrote four extended commentaries on the subject in four separate volumes: Secrets of Heaven (volume 7, published in 1754), True Christianity (1771), the short work Life (1763), and the posthumously published Revelation Explained (1758–1759). Those four commentaries are now being combined in a single volume for the first time, allowing the reader to compare and contrast Swedenborg’s approach across a seventeen-year span.
This book offers new insights for spiritual seekers and students of Swedenborg alike, illuminating what is at once a familiar set of biblical teachings and one of the cornerstones of Swedenborg’s system of personal growth.
The Indian spiritual entrepreneur Maharishi Mahesh Yogi took the West by storm in the 1960s and ’70s, charming Baby Boomers fed up with war and social upheaval with his message of meditation and peace. Heeding his call, two thousand followers moved to tiny Fairfield, Iowa, to set up their own university on the campus of a failed denominational college. Soon, they started a school for prekindergarten through high school, allowing followers to immerse themselves in Transcendental Meditation from toddlerhood through PhDs.
Although Fairfield’s longtime residents were relieved to see that their new neighbors were clean-cut and respectably dressed—not the wild-haired, drug-using hippies they had feared—the newcomers nevertheless quickly began to remake the town. Stores selling exotic goods popped up, TM followers built odd-looking homes that modeled the guru’s rules for peace-inspiring architecture, and the new university knocked down a historic chapel, even as it erected massive golden-domed buildings for meditators. Some newcomers got elected—and others were defeated—when they ran for local and statewide offices. At times, thousands from across the globe visited the small town.
Yet Transcendental Meditation did not always achieve its aims of personal and social tranquility. Suicides and a murder unsettled the meditating community over the years, and some followers were fleeced by con men from their own ranks. Some battled a local farmer over land use and one another over doctrine. Notably, the world has not gotten more peaceful.
Today the guru is dead. His followers are graying, and few of their children are moving into leadership roles. The movement seems rudderless, its financial muscle withering, despite the efforts of high-profile supporters such as filmmaker David Lynch and media magnate Oprah Winfrey. Can TM reinvent itself? And what will be the future of Fairfield itself? By looking closely at the transformation of this small Iowa town, author Joseph Weber assesses the movement’s surprisingly potent effect on Western culture, sketches out its peculiar past, and explores its possible future.
This landmark book combines the voices of Native Americans and non-Indians, anthropologists and others, in an exploration of gender and sexuality issues as they relate to lesbian, gay, transgendered, and other "marked" Native Americans.
Focusing on the concept of two-spirit people--individuals not necessarily gay or lesbian, transvestite or bisexual, but whose behaviors or beliefs may sometimes be interpreted by others as uncharacteristic of their sex--this book is the first to provide an intimate look at how many two-spirit people feel about themselves, how other Native Americans treat them, and how anthropologists and other scholars interpret them and their cultures.
1997 Winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize for an edited book given by the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists.
In Unexpected Grace Bill Kramer offers a rare look into the human side of the world of scientific research. He goes behind the scenes of four scientific investigations on diverse aspects of the study of unlimited love and offers uplifting portraits of human beings struggling to understand and improve the complex issues facing them. He explores the dynamics between the researchers, the subjects they study, and the participants in the studies, and eloquently tells their personal stories. The stories touch on vastly different social and human issues, but all are connected by love.
The first is the story of Courtney Cowart, who was part of a group of theologians who met at Trinity Place in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, not knowing her experience would become the subject of a study. The story of how the group struggled to survive and the formation of a practical, effective altruistic community is heartrending and inspiring. This is followed by a description of a University of California Santa Cruz psychology department study on the dynamics of friendship and prejudice that completely changed the perceptions of those involved.
The third study, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, focused on the benefits of religion on mental and physical health, which led its researcher to a greater understanding of forgiveness, humility, and grace. The final powerful story is about a physiology of love study conducted in Iowa City. Here, a functional MRI is the vehicle for measuring empathy and brings the researcher to wonder, "Is there a point at which empathy shuts down and we turn away?" Ultimately she comes to recognize that past experiences influences our ability to respond emphatically.
Each story candidly unveils the transformations the researchers and their subjects experienced in the course of their work. This illuminating book, with its unique insights, will appeal to educators, researchers, students, study participants, and everyone who wonders what goes on behind the scenes of investigative studies.
The Universe and I: Where Science & Spirituality Meet offers scholar and theologian George F. Dole’s thought-provoking insights on the dynamic nature of the ongoing science and religion debate. Why are we here? Where are we headed? Dole argues that to understand these questions, we need not only the grounding of science but also the insights of spirit.
As experts continue to work out the relationship between cosmology and human evolution, Dole, who has spent a lifetime making sense of the spiritual world, joins the conversation with a clarity that only he can provide. Shaped primarily as a response to the scientific community, he engages with a wide spectrum of thinkers, including Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, and eighteenth-century polymath Emanuel Swedenborg, just to name a few.
Accessing a wealth of knowledge from across a wide variety of disciplines—philosophy, religion, biology, physics, and more—Dole presents his own model for our physical and spiritual existence. Starting with what we don’t know and what we can observe about the fundamentals of existence, Dole explores “the creative tension between differentiation and integration”—the drive to be individual and yet be united to a greater whole, a tension whose persistent progress since the Big Bang has brought about such gifts as the emergence of life and consciousness.
Dole not only presents us with the empirical evidence of science but also provides us with a first-person understanding of the spiritual dimension and how it might inform the way we consider those grand speculations on the meaning of the universe and of life. Reflecting on how life began leads to questions of how we will continue to advance humanity and goodwill for all—both as a species and as individuals striving for personal growth.
Asking the question “How can I, infinitesimal I, have the gall to regard myself as significant in the context of the universe?”, Dole embarks on a journey that spans the life of the universe itself, making every effort along the way to answer this question—for all of us.
At the heart of human existence lie fundamental questions that are pondered by philosophers, theologians, poets and thoughtful people from all walks of life. What is the meaning of life? Who or what is a divine being? How can a benevolent deity justify human suffering? Such questions are especially relevant to our lives in the current climate of American society. In Vespers: American Poems of Religion and Spirituality, editors Virgil Suárez and Ryan G. Van Cleave offer the reading world a timely anthology of powerful and passionate poems that cut to the heart of our contemporary theological and spiritual underpinnings.
Featuring fifty of today's most respected American poets, including Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Dunn and Carolyn Kizer, Vespers allows us to witness and understand the challenging ideas and philosophies surrounding religion and spirituality. Through these poems, we can come to a better understanding of who, what, and why we are.
From deathbed spirituals to initiation songs, transformative ballads to transcendent sonnets, poets of myriad backgrounds—Native American, African American, Asian American, Latino, Protestant, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish—echo the thoughts, concerns, and fears that linger in our souls. Their poems help us realize that we are not alone, that we're never truly alone, that even in the face of darkness the world is vibrant, beautiful, joyous.
More than a creative exploration of theological concerns—Vespers is a roadmap of where we've been, where we are, and where we are heading in terms of our spiritual and religious existence. It will keep you company, good company, whatever your religious or spiritual background.
Voices from the Ancestors brings together the reflective writings and spiritual practices of Xicanx, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx womxn and male allies in the United States who seek to heal from the historical traumas of colonization by returning to ancestral traditions and knowledge.
This wisdom is based on the authors’ oral traditions, research, intuitions, and lived experiences—wisdom inspired by, and created from, personal trajectories on the path to spiritual conocimiento, or inner spiritual inquiry. This conocimiento has reemerged over the last fifty years as efforts to decolonize lives, minds, spirits, and bodies have advanced. Yet this knowledge goes back many generations to the time when the ancestors understood their interconnectedness with each other, with nature, and with the sacred cosmic forces—a time when the human body was a microcosm of the universe.
Reclaiming and reconstructing spirituality based on non-Western epistemologies is central to the process of decolonization, particularly in these fraught times. The wisdom offered here appears in a variety of forms—in reflective essays, poetry, prayers, specific guidelines for healing practices, communal rituals, and visual art, all meant to address life transitions and how to live holistically and with a spiritual consciousness for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Health care professionals, clergy, chaplains, social workers, and others who counsel people in medical crisis often find themselves faced with deeply painful questions: Why is this happening to me? Am I dying? Why should I live? I'm just a burden to others.
Here is a workbook that suggests healing verbal responses to such expressions of spiritual pain. The author, an internationally recognized expert in spiritual caregiving, points out that wanting to help is one motivation for learning these skills, but there are also evidence-based reasons: helping patients express their innermost feelings promotes spiritual healing; spiritual health is related to physical and emotional health; spiritual coping helps patients accept and deal with their illness; and patients tend to want their health care professionals to know about their spirituality.
Lessons, tips, and exercises teach how to listen effectively, with guidelines for detecting and understanding the spiritual needs embedded in patients' conversations. Suggestions are provided for verbal responses to patients who express spiritual distress, including tips for building rapport, using self-disclosure, and praying with patients. A FAQ section deals with frequently asked questions and miscellaneous information, such as:
•What do I do when a patient talks on and on and I have to leave?
•How do I answer a "why" question?
•What do I say to a patient who believes a miracle will happen to cure them?
•What if I'm not religious? How can I talk about it?
By practicing and using these healing techniques, Taylor explains, healthcare professionals will be able to provide patients responses to their questions that allow them to become intellectually, emotionally, and physically aware of their spirituality so they can experience life more fully.
In When Sickness Heals, Dr. Siroj Sorajjakool draws on more than ten years of studies on health benefits in relation to spirituality, especially focusing on the function of "meaning." He expounds on his theory that healing is primarily the function of meaning, and meaning transcends sickness and even death itself. He concludes that what people ultimately seek in life is the healing of their souls.
Sorajjakool brings many Eastern and Western resources to his conversation on health, meaning, and healing. He incorporates the perspectives of theologians and philosophers like Paul Tillich, Carl Jung, Søren Kierkegaard, Raimundo Panikkar, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and John Macquarrie; as well as references to religious texts, including yin and yang, and alchemy.
A clear, distinct understanding of spirituality in clinical contexts is presented, with an argument for the role of meaning in the healing process, based on evidence that there may be healing even in the face of death. Sorajjakool identifies the transitional processes people may go through as they seek to make sense of their experiences during a health crisis. He suggests an alternative approach to spiritual assessment and provides methods of spiritual care that speak to the soul.
Why is it that the majority of people, from all socio-economic, education, and ethnic backgrounds, ascribe to some sort of faith? What draws us to religion? What pushes us away? And what exactly is religion anyway?
Defining religion over the past century has, ironically, led to theories that exclude belief in God, proposing that all systems of thought concerning the meaning of life are religions. Of course, this makes it impossible to distinguish the village priest from the village atheist, or Communism from Catholicism. Worse yet, it makes all religious behavior irrational, presuming that, for example, people knowingly pray to an empty sky.
Renowned sociologist of religion Rodney Stark offers a comprehensive, decisive, God-centered theory of religion in his book, Why God: Explaining Religious Phenomena. While his intent is not to insist that God exists, Stark limits religions to systems of thought based on belief in supernatural beings—to Gods. With this God-focused theory, Stark explores the entire range of religious topics, including the rise of monotheism, the discovery of sin, causes of religious hostility and conflict, and the role of revelations.
Each chapter of Why God? builds a comprehensive framework, starting with the foundations of human motivations and ending with an explanation of why most people are religious. Stark ultimately settles what religion is, what it does, and why it is a universal feature of human societies. Why God? is a much needed guide for anyone who wants a thorough understanding of religion and our relationship to it, as well as a firm refutation to those who think religion can exist without the divine.
Between the twelfth and the sixteenth centuries, women assumed public roles of unprecedented prominence in Italian religious culture. Legally subordinated, politically excluded, socially limited, and ideologically disdained, women's active participation in religious life offered them access to power in all its forms.
These essays explore the involvement of women in religious life throughout northern and central Italy and trace the evolution of communities of pious women as they tried to achieve their devotional goals despite the strictures of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The contributors examine relations between holy women, their devout followers, and society at large.
Including contributions from leading figures in a new generation of Italian historians of religion, this book shows how women were able to carve out broad areas of influence by carefully exploiting the institutional church and by astutely manipulating religious percepts.
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola give shape to the spiritual lives of Jesuits and many other Christians. But might these different ways of praying, meditating, and reading scripture be helpful to members of other faiths as well? In response to the call of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the thirtieth Superior General of the Jesuits (2008-2016) to explore how the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises can be fruitfully appropriated by non-Christians, A World on Fire analyzes the prospects for adapting the Spiritual Exercises in order to make them accessible to members of other faith traditions while still maintaining their core meaning and integrity.
Erin Cline examines why this ought to be done, for whom, and what the aims of such an adaptation would be, including the different theological justifications for this practice. She concludes that there are compelling reasons for sharing the Exercises with members of other religions and that doing so coheres with the central mission of the Jesuits. A World on Fire goes on to examine the question of how the Exercises can be faithfully adapted for members of other religions. In outlining adaptations for the Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions that draw upon the traditional content of the Exercises supplemented by the texts of these religious traditions, Cline shows how Ignatian spirituality can help point the way to a different kind of inter-religious dialogue – one that is not bound up in technical terminology or confined to conversations between theologians and religious leaders. Rather, in making the Spriitual Exercises accessible to members of other faith traditions, we are as Pope Francis puts it, “living on a frontier, one in which the Gospel meets the needs of the people to whom it should be proclaimed in an understandable and meaningful way.”
A World on Fire will be of interest to comparative theologians and scholars working on inter-religious dialogue, religious pluralism, contemplative studies, and spirituality, as well as Jesuit priests and other practitioners who employ the Spiritual Exercises in their ministry.
Does God love and care for each individual? Should the Bible be interpreted literally? Why are we here? Questions such as these persist for many people today. Grant Schnarr presents "the new Christianity," based on the Bible and the teachings of the eighteenth-century theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. Schnarr examines the underlying reasons that prevent people from truly believing and provides logical and positive answers to life's questions. The result is a solid foundation for building faith and embracing a relationship with God.