Item description for Faith Styles: Ways People Believe (Spiritual Directors International Book) by John Mabry...
Overview A noted spiritual director suggests new ways of looking at how different people understand and relate to the divine. Explores the many styles of faith that characterize believers in all religions, examines the various modes of believing, and offers ways for spiritual directors to use this knowledge as they work with their clients. Includes illustrative case studies and practical suggestions for offering spiritual direction. The Spiritual Directors International Series - This book is part of a special series produced by Morehouse Publishing in cooperation with Spiritual Directors International (SDI), a global network of some 6,000 spiritual directors and members.
A noted spiritual director suggests new ways of looking at how different people understand and relate to the divine. Explores the many styles of faith that characterize believers in all religions, examines the various modes of believing, and offers ways for spiritual directors to use this knowledge as they work with their clients. Includes illustrative case studies and practical suggestions for offering spiritual direction.
The Spiritual Directors International Series This book is part of a special series produced by Morehouse Publishing in cooperation with Spiritual Directors International (SDI), a global network of some 6,000 spiritual directors and members."
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Studio: Morehouse Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.41" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2006
Publisher Morehouse Publishing
Series Spiritual Directors International Book
ISBN 0819222224 ISBN13 9780819222220
Reviews - What do customers think about Faith Styles: Ways People Believe (Spiritual Directors International Book)?
Reviewed by Douglas H. Gregg Apr 21, 2008
The most stimulating and provocative workshop presenter for me at the Spiritual Directors International annual events in April 2006 was John Mabry. Mabry's three-hour workshop presented styles of faith and believing--illustrating the various ways people approach and understand the Divine. So I put my order in early for a copy of Faith Styles: Ways People Believe, which expands on the material presented in the workshop. After waiting expectantly for its November release, I have been generously rewarded for my patience. Mabry is reacting to perceived limitations in the "stages of faith development" work of James Fowler, Scott Peck, and others whose work he succinctly reviews in the introduction. A difficulty he finds with Fowler's work, for example, is the assumption that one matures in faith by moving chronologically through stages into an ever higher or more mature stage of faith. Mabry deals with this by describing "styles" of faith rather than "developmental stages of faith." His typology has the advantage of being descriptive but at the same time both nondevelopmental and nonhierarchical. His careful descriptions make it easy to identify oneself with a style, and even within a style, with pointers toward where one might be heading in his or her pursuit of a deeper spiritual experience of intimacy with the Divine. In chapters 1 through 6, Mabry enumerates six styles of faith: Traditional Believers, Liberal Believers, Spiritual Eclectics, Religious Agnostics, Ethical Humanists, and Jack Believers. In his discussion of the six various styles of faith, Mabry seeks to answer eight key questions: (1)How is the Divine imaged? (2) What is the nature of one's relationship with the Divine? (3) How does one construct meaning in the world? (4) What are the accepted sources of spiritual wisdom? (5) How is spiritual growth assessed? (6) What spiritual disciplines and practices are honored? (7) What are the advantages of the style? (8) What are the disadvantages? The material for answering the eight defining questions is drawn from responses from a survey Mabry sent out worldwide to people of diverse faith traditions. As good and helpful as the material is in the first six chapters, it gets better for the spiritual director in chapter 7, as Mabry reviews the problems and possibilities of spiritual direction for the various faith styles, and in chapter 8, where he reviews issues involved in moving from one faith style to another. For me, firmly entrenched in a traditionalist style of faith, Mabry's book is most helpful in clarifying (again) who I can work with most effectively and the importance of avoiding the temptation to mold a directee into my own faith style. There is great mystery surrounding every person's unique spiritual journey, and Mabry reminds us what a great gift spiritual direction can be in the unfolding of the mystery and what it takes to be an effective guide and companion to others along the way.
Douglas H. Gregg, an ordained Presbyterian minister, holds a PhD in social ethics from the University of Southern California, California, USA. His training in spiritual direction is through the Haggard School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California.
Not just for spiritual directors Mar 6, 2007
This book was written primarily to help spiritual directors in working with their clients - first by quickly discerning their own `Faith Style' and then - also quickly - those of their clients. Speaking as someone who is not a spiritual director, I believe that the book will appeal to a much wider audience. I personally am finding it to have a major influence on how I think about my place in the spectrum of faith stances, and, importantly, how I have moved within that spectrum (or circle) over the years. The ideas in the book have also raised much interest among fellow members of my religious society - so much so that I have been urged to introduce the Faith Styles concept to a wider audience through a lunchtime interactive discussion later this year.
In an engagingly written manner, Mabry discusses six `Faith Styles', exploring for each: How is the Divine imaged? What is the nature of one's relationship with the Divine? How does one construct meaning in the world? What are the accepted sources of spiritual wisdom? How is spiritual growth assessed? Practices? Advantages? Disadvantages? In the last chapter Mabry presents the `Faith Styles Wheel' and first discusses `Companioning around the circle' (i.e. relating to those of other Styles) and then `Migration around the circle' (discussing why people move from one Style to another). As an experienced spiritual director, Mabry is very good on the psychological aspects of each Style, and as a trained theologian he is incisive regarding the theological/philosophical worlds within which each of these Styles operate. His interfaith approach is another feature that makes the book attractive.
Mabry's classification (and indeed his whole approach) is expressly designed to be non-hierarchical. Classification schemes are human constructs and can induce endless - but not necessarily fruitless - debate. Classifications that prove themselves robust should help us to understand the universe (specifically including, in this case, ourselves and other humans) a bit - maybe even a lot - better. Mabry's Faith Styles system has great potential to help us to better understand first ourselves, then others, and ourselves in interaction with others.
Six Different Ways that People Walk the Path Dec 5, 2006
Faith Styles is written primarily for spiritual directors and others who work with people with a range of belief systems, such as chaplains and ministers that serve an open and affirming congregation. Although I don't fit that description, I'm very interested in the different ways that people experience spiritual life and religion, so I was very interested in what the author would say. Mabry describes some of the key differences in faith styles, and arrays six "points" on a wheel to contrast the styles, giving each point a name that describes a faith style, and then providing a detailed description of each style. I found the descriptions compelling and thought-provoking. Equally important to me, I found that Mabry was able to describe the faith styles without judging one as better than another, or viewing them in a heirarchy, as some other authors have done. Instead, he validates five of the faith styles as viable, healthy positions, and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each style drawing from his work in spiritual direction and from a survey that he did for this book. The one style that Mabry finds little positive to say about as a path is "Jack Believers," which means someone who has accepted and internalized a demanding, judging God but who is not able to come close enough to meeting the demands of that God to feel worthy of being included in the spiritual community. This sense of being an outcast can create a sense of despair that makes spiritual movement difficult. This discussion was useful to me, as the suggestions of how to relate to a Jack Believer have stayed with me. This book has given me a lot to think about, both in my own faith life and in relating to others in my church community. I also think this book would be useful to someone thinking about welcoming visitors to a church, as the different faith styles are likely to be looking for somewhat different things in their visiting experience.