Soul Friend: New Revised Edition  -     By: Kenneth Leech
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Soul Friend: New Revised Edition

Church Publishing Inc. / 2001 / Paperback

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Product Description

Scholarly, yet accessible, Leech's book explores the range of issues that concern both directors and those who seek direction: the history of spiritual direction, the relationship between director and directee, the practice of prayer in the Christian spiritual tradition, and the role of the spiritual director, not just for the individual but in the larger society. Using contemporary theories in the field of psychology and spiritual practice, Leech never loses sight of the richness of ancient understandings.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Church Publishing Inc.
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 081921888X
ISBN-13: 9780819218889
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

In 1977, Kenneth Leech wrote the book Soul Friend, which quickly became one of the classic contemporary explorations of the Christian practice of spiritual direction. Out of print for many years, a revised edition of this book, mildly updated to include changes in the spiritual climate since 1977, is now available. Leech's scholarly, yet accessible, exploration examines the climate in which spiritual direction takes place today-the influence of the drug culture of the 1960's, Eastern influences on prayer and spiritual practice, the Pentecostal movement, and others. He then provides background on the history of spiritual direction, both Protestant and Catholic, from the earliest Church through the twentieth century. Leech also explores other questions of interest to directors and those seeking out direction: the relationship between counseling and direction; the practice of prayer in Christian spiritual tradition; and the prophetic role of the spiritual director, not just for the individual but for the larger society. An excellent course book, and a fascinating book for those contemplating direction, Soul Friend will continue to be a classic for years to come.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 27, 2005
    Dr. Robert W. Kellemen
    Updated after nearly 30 years, Kenneth Leech's "Soul Friends: The Practice of Christian Spirituality" was a prophetic book in many ways. Since his book and those of Richard Foster, spiritual direction, spiritual formation, and spiritual friendship have become common practices not only in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Circles, but also in Protestant contexts. A major portion of Leech's work examines the relationship between counseling and soul friendship. Leech provides a helpful summary of the attempts in the past fifty years to integrate these disciplines. He also traces the history of spiritual counsel from the time of Christ to the present day. The bulk of his work focuses on prayer in spiritual friendship, or perhaps better said, prayer as spiritual friendship. For those wanting to sharpen their competencies in this aspect of soul friendship, Leech is quite helpful. For those wanting to develop a broad understanding of the varied components of spiritual friendship and how to practice them, other works might be necessary. Reviewer: Dr. Robert W. Kellemen is the author of "Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," "Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," and the forthcoming "Sacred Companions: A History of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
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