Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation
Being human is a lifelong journey of becoming. This journey defines our humanity, for it is a journey toward our source and our fulfillment, described in Christian theology as union with God. If we remain open to God as our sense of self awakens, we experience a deeper consciousness of being in him. The self that emerges during this process is larger, more enlightened, and whole. David Benner, who has spent thirty-five years integrating psychology and spirituality, presents psychological insights in a readable fashion to offer readers a deeper understanding of the self and its spiritual development. Drawing on a broad range of Christian traditions, Benner shows that the transformation of self is foundational to Christian spirituality. This book will appeal to readers interested in a psychologically grounded, fresh exploration of Christian spirituality; professionals engaged in pastoral care, counseling, and spiritual direction; and students in ministry development and spiritual formation courses. Questions and answers for individual or group use are included at the end of each chapter.
From the Back Cover Offers deep insight about the sacred journey of transformation David Benner offers deep insight about the sacred journey of transformation of the unfolding self, emphasizing learning from the Christian mystics and the essential nature of contemplative stillness. There are also helpful appendixes on dreamwork, meditation, prayer, and awakening. -- Siang-Yang Tan , professor of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective Once again David Benner has seamlessly woven together his gifts and skills as psychotherapist and spiritual guide. As one of the wise voices of our time, his words deserve to be kept and savored. -- Margaret Guenther , professor emerita of ascetical theology and former director of the Center for Christian Spirituality, General Theological Seminary Benner's personal quest for the deepest awareness and truth of human life as it is lived in relation to the transcendent feeds the authenticity and insights of this book. I could not recommend it more highly as a framework for understanding the transformative levels of our journey into the way, the truth, and the life. -- Tilden Edwards , founder and senior fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation Benner offers us a highly readable book--grounded in historic Christology and developmental psychology--in which he develops a psycho-theology of growth. This is the best of Benner's books! -- J. Harold Ellens , author of numerous books, including The Healing Power of Spirituality and Christian Perspectives on Human Development David Benner is a trusted companion who helps us navigate the complex possibilities of personal awakening, of becoming more than we are, of movement beyond changed behaviors into changed being. This book guides us into life as truer persons and communities immersed in God. -- John Kiemele , founder and executive director, Selah Center, Woodway, Washington