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Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction [Paperback]

By Jean Stairs (Author) & Marjorie Jean Stairs (Author)
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Item description for Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction by Jean Stairs & Marjorie Jean Stairs...

Overview
This book explores the relationship between the practices of pastoral care and the practices of spiritual direction with the aim of enabling pastoral caregivers to draw upon the guiding principles, resources, and techniques of spiritual direction within the Christian tradition. With an emphasis on both "practice" and "presence," the book reclaims the tradition of "soul care" for the pastoral ministry, thereby complementing the medical, or crisis intervention, model of pastoral care with a wellness/growth model of pastoral care. Listening for the Soul: _Challenges clergy to take seriously the relationship between pastoral care and spiritual direction. _Integrates theological and psychological insights with issues of spiritual life and formation. _Includes a chapter on the spiritual formation of children. _Provides practical guidance for integrating spiritual direction with pastoral care. _Tends to the pastoral caregivers own needs for spiritual deepening. _Includes reflection questions and case studies to enable the text to function on both the individual reader and classroom levels.

Publishers Description
This book explores the relationship between the practices of pastoral care and the practices of spiritual direction with the aim of enabling pastoral caregivers to draw upon the guiding principles, resources and techniques of spiritual direction within the Christian tradition. With an emphasis on both "practice" and "presence," the book reclaims the tradition of "soul care" for the pastoral ministry, thereby complementing the medical, or crisis intervention, model of pastoral care with a wellness/growth model of pastoral care.Listening for the Soul: Challenges clergy to take seriously the relationship between pastoral care and spiritual direction. Integrates theological and psychological insights with issues of spiritual life and formation. Includes a chapter on the spiritual formation of children. Provides practical guidance for integrating spiritual direction with pastoral care. Tends to the pastoral caregivers own needs for spiritual deepening Includes reflection questions and case studies to enable the text to function on both the individual reader and classroom levels.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Fortress Press
Pages   213
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2000
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800632397  
ISBN13  9780800632397  


Availability  0 units.


More About Jean Stairs & Marjorie Jean Stairs


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stairs is an ordained Baptist pastor and Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry and Field Education, and Chair of Theological Studies at Queens Theological College.

Jean Stairs was born in 1955.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Pastoral Counseling
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Methodist


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction?

Excellent Pastoral Resource  Feb 25, 2006
This is an amazing, reflective, practical resource for pastors. A must have for those just beginning and those seeking refreshment. Stairs is realistic and challenging. Excellent!
 
Wonderful spirit and great connections  Oct 22, 2005
This book by Jean Stairs addresses a need in pastoral care and ministry - the attentiveness to the soul that so many people, ministers and laypersons alike, can find the love, support and care they seek in church and community. 'The world is crying out for the church to be more like the church,' Stairs states in her introduction, 'to represent the space and place where holiness, meaning, and God can be found, experienced, understood and reimagined.' This book is written largely for a Protestant audience, although there are insights to be gained by those who are Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox (and, to a lesser extent, some from outside the Christian realm, although the book is primarily written for an internal Christian audience).

Stairs highlights the loss in Protestant circles of many of the spiritual aspects still honoured and available in the more liturgical churches - ideas of spiritual direction and other structures are still present there, but Protestant theology and practice views them with suspicion, for various reasons. One is the distrust of anything that moves away from a sense of sola scriptora or Christ-alone kinds of theologies. Another is a fascination with mainstream psychology and a misplaced trust in the idea of therapeutic cures being substitutes for spiritual care and direction. However, people still yearn for spiritual care and fulfillment.

Part of this can be done in the actual practice of spirituality beyond the usual course of study - it isn't enough simply to read about spiritual practices, but rather one must incorporate these and do them. At my seminary, first-year students were expected to take a course that would cover in brief a successive selection of Christian spiritual practices; many students would come to seminary not only with having nothing outside of their own denomination as experience, but sometimes with nothing outside of their own congregation. There were always those students who found the course a waste of time - these were invariably the ones who read through the material, but never actually worked through the practices. However, for many if not most students, it was an awakening to the different ways of being authentically Christian in practice that can be incorporated into already existing theological and historical frameworks.

Stairs' text shows many different ways of incorporating spiritual practices. I notice the word 'listen' a lot in her text, both in titles and the body of the essays - the word 'Listen' is the first word of the Benedictine rule, one of the time-honoured practices in Christian history. Stairs incorporates the idea of spirituality and spiritual practice into everyday life and work, into family and individual processes, into formal life events, and into church and worship experiences.

The case study in the appendix is a wonderful postscript to Stairs' development of ideas. It recounts the experience of two women who founded a Sunday school programme, who shortly thereafter contracted cancer; one lived, and the other died. How does one deal with this kind of situation? Where is the attentiveness to the soul going to take place in the midst of this kind of happening? Stairs' gentle spirit covers it well.

This is a wonderful book - it is a must read for ministers, clergy and lay, who provide pastoral care and spiritual care for people in their community, and for anyone who wants to heighten his or her sensitivity to the connections and the differences in pastoral care and spiritual direction, and how these can be applied to one's own life.
 

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