Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity: Psychological, Contemplative, and Moral Challenges in Christian Living, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity

Psychological, Contemplative, and Moral Challenges in Christian Living, 1st Edition

By Neil Pembroke

Routledge

200 pages

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pub: 2007-08-30
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Description

Three ‘windows’ to spiritual maturity

How can a faithful Christian avoid stagnating in their spiritual development? Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity: Psychological, Contemplative, and Moral Challenges in Christian Living explores effective ways in which Christian discipleship can grow in spiritual maturity. This thoughtful, integrative roadmap explains the journey through three interrelated perspectives, or ‘windows,’ psychotherapeutic psychology, prayer and contemplation, and moral theology. The author uses numerous examples from everyday life to make the reflections interesting and practical. Unlike other books on Christian spirituality, this book is more challenging and sophisticated in its depth of thought.

Spiritual maturity is a process that begins when a person accepts Jesus Christ as Savior, and progresses ongoing through a Christian’s life. Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity discusses in detail the challenges one must face, including the sustained, in-depth, and faithful attention to psychological wholeness, conversion to the true self, and interpersonal and social responsibility. Effective strategies are given through example and personal story, making understanding of the principles easier. This reflection on Christian maturity helps readers to focus directly on the personal issues all must face when attuning to the Spirit of Christ.

Topics in Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity include:

  • reforming the wayward self
  • moral or guilt-based perfectionism
  • achievement or shame-based perfectionism
  • the two types of conversion
  • responsibility and accountability
  • agape and the loving of oneself
  • three virtues at the heart of the responsible life—integrity, courage, and compassion
  • virtues as habits
  • the relationship between personal fulfillment and the Christian vocation

Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity is a unique look at the path toward spiritual maturity, and is challenging, thoughtful reading for laypersons, ministers, priests, and theological students.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • PART I: SETTING THE SCENE
  • Chapter 1. Setting the Scene: Self-Fulfillment and Vocation
  • Psychological Approaches to Personal Fulfillment
  • Continuities and Discontinuities with the Christian Tradition
  • The Way of Love
  • Balancing Self-Giving and Self-Love
  • PART II: TOWARD PSYCHOLOGICAL WHOLENESS
  • Chapter 2. Wholeness in the Community of the Self
  • The Self and Its Subselves
  • Freud and Berne on Suppression of Selves
  • Suppression of Selves and the Christian Life
  • Kohut and Jung on Disowning Selves
  • Working with Disowned Subselves
  • Morally Relevant Selves
  • The Spirit and the Christian’s Moral Imperative
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. Wholeness, Not Perfection
  • The Bind of Perfectionism
  • Christ and Individuation
  • Paul and the Inner Struggle
  • Reconciliation of Inner Opposites
  • Completeness in Christ
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4. Cognitive Reframing and Perfectionism
  • Guilt-Based and Shame-Based Perfectionism
  • The Basics of Cognitive Therapy
  • Dealing with Shame-Based Perfectionism
  • Summary
  • PART III: PRAYER, CONTEMPLATION, AND CONVERSION
  • Chapter 5. Spirituality in the Everyday World
  • Spirituality and Nature
  • The Spirit of the City
  • A Spirituality of Time
  • Spirituality in Marriage and Family
  • Spirituality and Public Life
  • Summary
  • Chapter 6. Conversion to the True Self
  • True and False Selves
  • “Storied Prayer”: Remembering, Attending, and Choosing
  • Summary
  • Chapter 7. Conversion to Compassion
  • Compassion in the Bible
  • Compassion As Hospitality
  • The Compassionate Community
  • Prayer As Solidarity
  • Summary
  • PART IV: CONSCIENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY
  • Chapter 8. Conscience and “Contrast Experiences”
  • Defining Conscience
  • Conscience and Vision
  • Conscience and Living a Vision for Discipleship
  • Summary
  • Chapter 9. The Agape Response
  • Agape
  • Outka and “Universal Love”
  • Post and “Communion”
  • Self-Sacrifice and Oppression
  • Summary
  • Chapter 10. The Virtues of Responsibility
  • Aristotle on Virtue
  • Aquinas on Virtue
  • The Virtuous Christian
  • Summary
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL012000
RELIGION / Christian Life / General
REL019000
RELIGION / Counseling
REL050000
RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Counseling & Recovery