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Soul friend: The practice of Christian…
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Soul friend: The practice of Christian spirituality (udgave 1980)

af Kenneth Leech (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
338358,153 (3.5)1
Presents a survey of the contemporary religious scene and the demand for authentic spiritual counseling in a Western mode. Examines the concept of spiritual direction from the Desert Fathers to modern theologians and counselors. It then draws upon the teachings of the great spiritual guides to help contemporary spiritual advisers who are seeking insight into the spiritual way and wish to know more about the Christian tradition of discernment, direction, and prayer. Details the rich resources of Christian spirituality and links them to the best of contemporary psychology.… (mere)
Medlem:StAugustinesChapel
Titel:Soul friend: The practice of Christian spirituality
Forfattere:Kenneth Leech (Forfatter)
Info:Harper & Row (1980), Edition: 1st American ed, 250 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
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Soul friend: The practice of Christian spirituality af Kenneth Leech

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I retrieved from an inconspicuous corner of my library Kenneth Leech’s “Soul Friend”, a book purchased some 30 years ago. Its title suddenly became captivating, although it might well be the same captivation that prompted my initial acquisition. I mean, who doesn’t yearn for a friend that touches the soul, or belongs to that intimate part of oneself?

The subtitle of Leech book says “The Practice of Christian Spirituality”, a subject so vast and the practice so diverse that one wonders how the author can give them justice in barely over 200 pages. It turns out Leech focuses only on some specific areas of Christian spirituality, namely, spiritual direction, prayer, and an interesting appendix on the sacrament of reconciliation or confession.

Given my background as an evangelical Protestant living in 21st century North America, these topics sound immediately as rarity in our vernacular. Of course, one hears of the admonition to pray every now and then in our Christian circles, maybe even some quasi-theologies on reconciliation are propounded from time to time. But the deep spiritual disciplines Leech refers to in this book has long been abandoned practically by our “hot-tub” religion, to use J.I. Packer’s term. In our eagerness to maintain a “theological purity”, many evangelical Christians have repudiated the richness and learning of 20 centuries’ Church history and traditions. Such shallowness pervades in our worship (few refers to liturgy anymore), arts, conversations, and, yes, spirituality.

Leech covers in the initial chapters the practices of spiritual direction in various traditions; from the Desert fathers, monastics, to some modern practitioners. The vastness of the topic has probably prevented Leech from going into details of each tradition; the mere telling of the history seems monotonous at times to this reader. The contents get distinctly livelier in Chapter 5 when Leech embarks on the practice of the life of prayer. Here the readers may get practical advices on overcoming some barriers in prayer.

It is the appendix on the sacrament of reconciliation that left me an indelible notion with the book. Although theologically the confessional as a sacrament to me remains disagreeable, the social dimension and psychological impact of Christians confessing in private and in the congregation cannot be gainsaid. One could only bemoan with those Christians who in their gatherings have lost the authenticity and healing that can only be obtained in publicly confessing to each other and by receiving the absolution from Christ whose propitiatory death grants us peace. ( )
  Laurence.Lai | Jan 9, 2020 |
A helpful but now dated survey of spirituality and the role of spiritual direction in the Anglican tradition. ( )
  TedWitham | Apr 21, 2010 |
I haven't had the time to read it.
  Adrianne | Aug 28, 2007 |
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Presents a survey of the contemporary religious scene and the demand for authentic spiritual counseling in a Western mode. Examines the concept of spiritual direction from the Desert Fathers to modern theologians and counselors. It then draws upon the teachings of the great spiritual guides to help contemporary spiritual advisers who are seeking insight into the spiritual way and wish to know more about the Christian tradition of discernment, direction, and prayer. Details the rich resources of Christian spirituality and links them to the best of contemporary psychology.

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