Christian Spirituality Blog

We understand Christian Spirituality to be the practice of the presence of God in daily life.  As such it includes both the mundane and the mystical dimensions of Christian faith and practice.  This Blog is intended to provide thought provoking information and discussion in the categories of Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Direction, Sacred Psychology, Interfaith Relationships, Peacebuilding, Spirituality/Religion, and Book Reviews of interest. 

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Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is the ancient practice of spiritual friendship and mentoring in which one spiritual seeker joins another on his or her spiritual journey, giving counsel and encouragement along the way. It is a discipline practiced in many religions and cultural traditions including shamanism, Christian mysticism, Islamic Sufi practice, and Hindu Gurus. All are considered to be valid attempts to follow a path which leads to a deep experience of God’s transcendent presence.


Compiled by James L. Foster

The following lists of books have been culled from the compiler's reading over a number of years.   The process is an ongoing one as many new and significant books in the area of Christian spirituality are being published annually.  Will we ever exhaust the subject?  I think not.  For all that has been written, the vastness of "inner space" is still largely unexplored territory.  I suspect this list will have to be updated many times in the years to come. 

Books specifically on spiritual directors and spiritual direction 

Barry, William A. and William J. Connelly.  The Practice of Spiritual Direction.  Seabury Press,   1984.

Bohler, Carolyn Stahl. Opening to God: Guided Imagery Meditation on Scripture.   Upper Room Books, 1996.

Bumpus, Mary Rose, and Rebecca Bradburn Langer. Supervision of Spiritual Directors: Engaging in Holy Mystery.   Morehouse, 2005.

Carroll, L. Patrick and Katherine Marie DyckmanInviting the Mystic, Supporting the Prophet.  Paulist Press,  1981.

Cornett, Carlton. The Soul of Psychotherapy: Recapturing the Spiritual Dimension in the Therapeutic Encounter.  Free Press, 1998.

Culligan, Kevin G., ed. Spiritual Direction: Contemporary Readings.  Living Flame Press, 1983.

Devers, DorothyFaithful Friendship.  Washington, D.C.: Church of the Savior, no date.

Donovan, PeterInterpreting Religious Experience.  Crossroad Publishing Co., 1979.

Dubay, Thomas.  Seeking Spiritual Direction: How to Grow the Divine Life Within.  Servant Publications, 1994.

Edwards, TildenSpiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction.  Paulist Press, 1980.

Evoy, John J.  Psychological Handbook for Spiritual Directors. Sheed & Ward, 1988.

Fischer, KathleenWomen at the Well: Feminist Perspectives on Spiritual Direction.  Paulist Press, 1988.

Ginn, RomanAdventure in Spiritual Direction: A Prophetic Pattern.  Living Flame Press, 1979.

Gratton, CarolynGuidelines for Spiritual Direction.  Dimension Books, 1980.

Isabell, DamienThe Spiritual Director: A Practical Guide. Franciscan Herald Press, 1976.

Jones, AlanExploring Spiritual Direction: An Essay on Christian Friendship. Seabury Press,  1982.

Kelsey, Morton TCompanions on the Inner Way: The Art of Spiritual Guidance. Crossroad Publishing Co., 1984.

LaPlace, JeanPreparing for Spiritual Direction.  Franciscan Herald Press, 1975.

Lebacqz, Karen, and Joseph D. Driskill. Ethics and Spiritual Care: A Guide for Pastors, Chaplains, and            Spiritual Directors. Abingdon Press, 2000.

Leech, KennethSoul Friend: The Practice of Christian Spirituality.  Harper & Row, 1977.

Liebert, Elizabeth. Changing Life Patterns: Adult Development in Spiritual Direction.  Chalice Press, 2000.

May, GeraldCare of Mind, Care of Spirit: Psychiatric Dimensions of Spiritual      Direction. Harper & Row, 1982.

Merton, ThomasSpiritual Direction and Meditation. The Liturgical Press, 1986.

Nemeck, Francis Kelly and Marie Theresa CoombsThe Way of Spiritual Direction.  Michael Glazier, 1985.

Neufelder, Jerome M. and Mary C. Coelho, eds.  Writings on Spiritual Direction.  Seabury Press, 1982.

Nouwen, Henri J. M.  The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society. Doubleday, 1972.

Nouwen, Henri.  Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith.  HarperOne, 2006.

Peterson, Eugene H.  The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction. William B. Eerdmans          Publishing, 1993.

Ruffing, JanetUncovering Stories of Faith: Spiritual Direction and Narratives.  Paulist Press, 1989.

Sudbrack, JosefSpiritual Guidance.  Paulist Press, 1983.

Sullivan, John, ed.  Carmelite Studies: Spiritual Direction.  ICS Publications, 1980.

Thornton, MartinSpiritual Direction.  Cowley Publications, 1984.

Trotter, Jesse M.  Christian Wholeness: Spiritual Direction for Today.  Morehouse-Barlow, 1981.

Tyrrell, Bernard J.  Christotherapy II: A New Horizon for Counselors, Spiritual Directors and Seekers of Healing          and Growth in Christ.  Paulist Press, 1982.

Vanderwall, Francis W.  Spiritual Direction: An Invitation to Abundant Life. Paulist Press, 1981.

van Kaam, AdrianThe Dynamics of Spiritual Self-Direction. Dimension Books, 1976.

Woodbridge, Barry AA Guidebook for Spiritual Friends.  The Upper Room, 1985.


Other relevant books for spiritual directors

Barry, William AGod and You: Prayer as a Personal Relationship. Paulist Press, 1987.

Bondi, Roberta C. To Love as God Loves: Conversations with the Early Church.  Fortress Press, 1987.

Bidwell, Duane R. Short-Term Spiritual Guidance.  Fortress Press, 2004.

Boisen, Anton. Out of the Depths.  Harper, 1960.

Bonhoeffer, DietrichSpiritual Care, trans. by Jay C. Rochelle.  Fortress Press, 1987.

Brennan, Patrick J.  Spirituality for an Anxious Age: "Into Your Hands...". The Thomas More Press, 1985.

Brewi, Janice and Anne BrennanCelebrate Mid-Life: Jungian Archetypes and Mid-Life Spirituality. Crossroad  Publishing Co., 1988.

Burrows, Ruth.  Fire on the Earth: Interior Castle Explored. Dimension Books, 1976.

Burrows, Ruth.  Guidelines for Mystical Prayer.  Dimension Books, 1976.

Christensen, Bernhard.  The Inward Pilgrimage: Spiritual Classics from Augustine to Bonhoeffer. Augsburg, 1976.

Clemmons, William P.  Discovering the Depths.  Broadman Press, 1976; rev. 1987.

Cole, Robert. The Spiritual Life of Children.  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.

Dalrymple, JohnLetting Go in Love: Reflections on Spiritual Formation. Michael Glazier, 1988.

Dell, Mary Lynn and Allan M. Josephson.  Religion and Spirituality. W. B. Saunders, 2004.

Dent, Barbara.  My Only Friend Is Darkness: Living the Night of Faith.  Ave Maria Press, 1988.

Dubay, Thomas.  Prayer Primer.  Charis Books, 2002.

Ellor, James W., Susan H. McFadden and Steven Sapp. Aging and Spirituality: The First Decade. American  Society on Aging, 1999.

Faucett, Robert and Carol AnnPersonality and Spiritual Freedom.   Doubleday Image, 1987

Fitchett, George. Spiritual Assessment in Pastoral Care: A Guide to Selected Resources.  Journal of Pastoral  Care Publications, 1993.

Foster, Richard, Richard JCelebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.  Harper & Row,  rev, 1988

Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald.The Three Ages of the Interior Life.  Tan Books and Publishers, 1999. 

Grant, W. HaroldFrom Image to Likeness: A Jungian Path in the Gospel Journey.  Paulist Press, 1983.

Greeley, Andrew MEcstasy: A Way of Knowing.  Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Green, Thomas H.  When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings.  Ave Maria Press, 1979.

Groeschel, Benedict JSpiritual Passages: The Psychology of Spiritual Development.  Crossroad Publishing  Co., 1983.

Groeschel, Benedict JStumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones: Spiritual Answers to Psychological Questions.      Paulist Press, 1987.

Hardy, Alister.  The Spiritual Nature of Man: A Study of Contemporary Religious Experience.  Clarendon, 1979.

Harkness, GeorgiaThe Dark Night of the Soul.  Abingdon Press, 1945.

Hart, Thomas. Hidden Spring: The Spiritual Dimension of Therapy . Augsburg/Fortress, 2002.

Holmes, Urban TSpirituality for Ministry.  Harper & Row, 1982.

Johnson, Ben CampbellTo Pray God's Will: Continuing the Journey. The Westminster Press, 1987.

Johnson, Ben CampbellTo Will God's Will: Beginning the Journey. The Westminster Press, 1987.

Johnston, WilliamBeing in Love: The Practice of Christian Prayer. Harper & Row, 1989.

Jones, AlanSoul Making: The Desert Way of Spirituality.  Harper & Row, 1985.

Jones, AlanPassion for Pilgrimage: Notes for the Journey Home.  Harper & Row, 1989.

Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold, eds.  The Study of Spirituality.  Oxford, 1986.

Keating, Charles J.  Who We Are Is How We Pray: Matching Personality and Spirituality. Twenty-Third          Publications, 1987.

Kelcourse, Felicity Brock, ed. Human Development and Faith: Life-Cycle Stages of Body, Mind, and Soul.  Chalice Press, 2004

Kelsey, Morton T.  Christo-Psychology.  Crossroad Publishing Co., 1982.

Kelsey, Morton TThe Other Side of Silence. Paulist Press, 1976.

Kelsey, Morton TTranscend: A Guide to the Spiritual Quest. Crossroad Publishing Co., 1981.

Klenicki, Leon and Gabe HuckSpirituality and Prayer: Jewish and Christian Understandings.  Paulist Press,1983.

Kraft, Charles H. and David M. DeBord. The Rules of Engagement: Understanding the Principles that Govern the Spiritual Battles in Our Lives. Wagner Publications, 2000.

Larranaga, IgnacioSensing Your Hidden Presence: Toward Intimacy with God, trans. by John W. Diersksmeier and Rigoberto Coloca-Rivas.  Doubleday Image, 1987.

Leech, KennethTrue Prayer: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality.  Harper & Row, 1980.

Lyall, David. Counseling in the Pastoral and Spiritual Context.  Open University Press, 1995.

Maloney, George AAlone with the Alone.  Ave Maria Press, 1982

Maloney, George A., ed.  Pilgrimage of the Heart: A Treasury of Eastern Spirituality.  Harper & Row, 1983.

Martin, Ralph.  The Fulfillment of All Desire. Emmaus Road Publishing, 2006.

Maslow, Abraham HReligions, Values, and Peak Experiences. Viking, 1964.

May, Gerald GAddiction and Grace.  Harper & Row, 1988.

Moore, SebastianLet This Mind Be in You: The Quest for Identity through Oedipus to Christ. Winston Press,  1985.

Muto, Susan.  A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading. Dimension Books, 1976.

Nelson, James BThe Intimate Connection: Male Sexuality, Masculine Spirituality.  The Westminster Press, 1988.

Nemeck, Francis Kelly and Marie Theresa Coombs.  The Spiritual Journey: Critical Thresholds and Stages of  Adult Spiritual Genesis.  Michael Glazier, 1987.

Nouwen, Henri J. MThe Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry.  Seabury Press, 1981.

Nouwen, Henri J. MWith Open Hands.  Ave Maria Press, 1972.

O'Connor, PeterDreams and the Search for Meaning.  Paulist Press, 1986.

Pable, Martin WA Man and His God: Contemporary Male Spirituality.  Ave Maria Press, 1988.

Pennington, M. BasilCentered Living: The Way of Centering Prayer.  Doubleday & Co., 1986.

Peterson, Eugene H.  Eat This Book: A Conversation of the Art of Spiritual Reading.  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ.  Co., 2006.

Ratcliff, Donald and Marcia McQuitty, eds. Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives, Research, and Applications. Cascade Books, 2004.

Reinhold, H. A., ed.  The Soul Afire: Revelations of the Mystics. Doubleday Image, 1973.

Robinson, EdwardThe Original Vision: A Study of the Religious Experience of Childhood.  Seabury Press, 1983.

Ross, MaggieThe Fire of Your Life: A Solitude Shared.  Paulist Press, 1983.

Ross, MaggiePillars of Flame: Power, Priesthood, and Spiritual Maturity. Harper & Row, 1988.

Sanford, John AMinistry Burnout. Paulist Press, 1982.

Savary, Louis M. and Patricia H. BerneKything: The Art of Spiritual Presence.  Paulist Press, 1988.

Senn, Frank, ed.  Protestant Spiritual Traditions.  Paulist Press, 1986.

Shannon, William HSeeking the Face of God.  Crossroad Publishing Co., 1988.

Shuman, Joel James and Keith Meador. Heal Thyself: Spirituality, Medicine, and the Distortion of Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Sontag, Frederick. Love Beyond Pain: Mysticism within Christianity. Paulist Press, 1977.

Steere, Douglas.  Together in Solitude.  Crossroad Publishing Co., 1982.

Stoter, David J. Spiritual Aspects of Health Care. Mosby, 1995.

Tanquerey, Adolphe.  The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology. Tan Books and           Publishers, 2001.

Thompson, Helen. Journey Toward Wholeness: A Jungian Model of Adult Spiritual Growth. Paulist Press, 1982.

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library, 1999.

Ulanov, Ann and BarryPrimary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer. John Knox Press, 1982.

VandeCreek, Larry. Spiritual Needs and Pastoral Services: Readings in Research. Journal of Pastoral Care Publications, 1995.

Wakefield, Gordon S., ed.  The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.  The Westminster Press, 1983

Welch, JohnSpiritual Pilgrims: Carl Jung and Teresa of Avila. Paulist Press, 1982.

Wendland, Barbara and Larry W. Easterling. Spiritual Family Trees: Finding Your Faith Community's Roots. Alban Institute, 2001.

Westerhoff, John H.  Building God's People in a Materialistic Society.  Seabury Press, 1983.

Wiederkehr, MacrinaA Tree Full of Angels: Seeing the Holy in the Ordinary. Harper & Row, 1988.

Williams, H. A.  The True Wilderness.  Crossroad Publishing Co., 1982


Journal articles relevant to spiritual direction

Some of the following articles were written with pastoral counseling in mind rather than spiritual direction.  In each instance, however, the material is just as relevant for spiritual direction as for counseling and therefore warranted inclusion.

Carlmelite Digest Kozlowski, Joseph.  "A Spiritual Director for All Time for All."  Autumn 1989.

Contemplative Review Corrigan, Winifred.  "Initial Metanoia in Spiritual Direction." Summer 1979.

Frison, Basil.  "Spiritual Direction as an Opening to the Experience of God."  Summer 1980.

Giallanza, Joel.  "Integration in Spiritual Direction."  Winter 1980.

Giallanza, Joel.  "Spiritual Direction According to St. John of the Cross." Fall 1978.

Giallanza, Joel.  "Spiritual Direction According to St. Teresa of Avila."  Summer 1979.

Page, Rose.  "Direction in the Various Stages of Spiritual Development."  Fall 1979.

Seelaus, Vilma.  "The Spirituality of the Novice Director as Minister of Formation."  Fall 1978.

Human Development (journal) Barry, William A.  "Breaking the Cycle of Evil."  Vol. 10, # 3 (Fall 1989)

Barry, William A.  "Interpretation of Experiences Reveals Beliefs." Vol. 9, #2 (Summer 1988)

Barry, William A.  "Missing the Meaning of Religious Experience: Hermeneutic of Experience Is an Enticing Trap."  Vol. 8, #1 (Spring 1987).

Barry, William A.  "The Religious Dimension of Experience." Vol.7, #2 (Summer 1986).

Barry, William A.  "Supervision Improves Ministry."  Vol. 9, #1 (Spring 1988).

Birmingham, Madeline and William J. Connolly.  "The Art of Spiritual Direction."  Vol. 8, #1 (Spring 1987).

Birmingham, Madeline and William J. Connolly.  "Praying for God's Sake." Vol. 9, #1 (Spring 1988).

Birmingham, Madeline and William J. Connolly.  "Talking to God." Vol. 10, #3 (Fall 1989).

De Blassie, Richard R.  "Intimacy in Pastoral Care."  Vol. 7, #2(Summer 1986).

Juliano, Carroll and Loughlan Sofield.  "Ministry Demands Intimacy."  Vol. 9, #1 (Spring 1988).

Kenel, Mary Elizabeth.  "Women Religious as Mentors."  Vol. 10, #2 (Spring 1989).

Nicolosi, Joseph and Jo Rotunno.  "The Desert Experience: Exploring the Psychospiritual Dimensions of          Personal Change."  Vol. 7, #3 (Fall 1986).

Pelton, Robert S.  "Continuing Religious Formation: Report on a Recent Survey on Men in the Director's Role."           Vol. 7, #3 (Fall 1986).

The Journal of Pastoral CareBarnhouse, Ruth Tiffany.  "Spiritual Direction and Psychotherapy." Vol. 33, #3 (September 1979), pp. 149-163.

Bohler, Carolyn J.  "The Use of Storytelling in the Practice of Pastoral Counseling."  Vol. 41, #1 (March 1987),          pp. 63-71.

Bondi, Roberta C.  "The Abba and Amma in Early Monasticism: The First Pastoral Counselor?"  Vol. 40, #4 (December 1986), pp.311-320.

Ford-Grabowsky, Mary.  "The Fullness of the Christian Faith Experience: Dimensions Missing in Faith          Development Theory." Vol. 41, #1 (March 1987), pp. 39-47.

Hart, Thomas.  "Counseling's Spiritual Dimension: Nine Guiding Principles."  Vol. 43, #2 (Summer 1989),           pp. 111-118.

Hemenway, Joan E.  "Four Faith Frameworks."  Vol. 38, #4 (December 1984), pp. 317-323.

Holland, J. T. "Jesus, A Model for Ministry." Vol. 36, #4 (December 1982), pp. 255-264.

Howe, Leroy T.  "Dream Interpretation in Spiritual Guidance."  Vol. 40, #3 (September 1986), pp.262-272.

Hoyer, Lee, Melvin R. Jacobs and E. Mansell Pattison.  "Later-Life Struggles: Psychological/Spiritual          Convergence."  Vol. 41, #2, (June 1987), pp. 141-149.

Morgan, Oliver J.  "Elements in a Spirituality of Pastoral Care." Vol. 43, #2 (Summer 1989), pp. 99-109.

Robbins, Martha.  "The Desert-Mountain Experience: The Two Faces of Encounter with God." Vol. 35, #1 (March          1981), pp. 18-35.

Van Gelder, David W.  "A Case Study of Demon Possession."  Vol. 41, #2 (June 1987), pp. 151-161.

Journal of Psychology and Theology Bunker, Diane E. “Spirituality and the Four Jungian Personality Functions.”, Vol.19.#1, 1991:pp.26-34.

Leadership (journal)Peterson, Eugene H.  "On Finding a Spiritual Director."  Vol. 4, #2 (Spring 1983), pp. 38-42.Peterson, Eugene H.  "Practicing and Malpracticing the Presence of God."  Vol. 5, #4 (Fall 1984), pp.94-99.

Pastoral Psychology (journal) Fairchild, Roy W.  "Guaranteed Not to Shrink: Spiritual Direction in Pastoral Care."  Vol. 31 (Winter 1982),           pp. 79-  95.

Quarterly ReviewFairchild, Roy W.  "The Pastor as Spiritual Director."  Vol. 5 (Summer 1985), pp. 25-35.

Religious Education (journal) Robinson, Edward A.  "The Experience of Transfiguration."  Vol. 80 (Spring 1985), pp. 246-254.

Religious Studies (journal) Overall, Christine.  "The Nature of Mystical Experience."  Vol. 18 (March 1982), pp. 47-54.

Review and Expositor Leonard, William J.  "Contemporary Spirituality in Historical Perspective."  Vol. 76 (Spring 1979), pp. 241-255.

Review for ReligiousO'Regan, John.  "Staging, Typing, and Spiritual Direction."  July/August 1983.Stanminski, Robert.  "Conversion, Pastoral Counseling, and Spiritual Direction."  May-June 1984.

Spiritual Life (journal) Barres, John.  "Mysticism, the Heart of Practical Religion: The Spiritual Theology of Evelyn Underhill."  Fall 1988.

Bourdon, Mary.  "The Spiritual Direction of the Adolescent." Summer 1982.

Corrigan, Winifred.  "Group Spiritual Direction in the Follow-up." Spring 1983.

Devoy, Juliana.  "Spiritual Direction: Being Artist with God." Winter 1988.

Feeney, Kevin.  "A Letter to Teresa of Jesus (from a 20th Century Spiritual Director)."  Winter 1988.

Kilduff, Thomas.  "Spiritual Direction and Personality Types." Fall 1980.

LaRochester, Barbara Jean.  "Black and Gifted: Our Ministry to Spiritual Direction."  Summer 1984.

Morgan, Thomas J.  "A Cognitive Model for the Directed Retreat." Winter 1983.

Neophitos, Angelo.  "Toward a Theology of Friendship."  Spring 1975.S

ellner, Edward C.  "Soul Friend: Guidance on Our Sacred Journeys." Summer 1983.

Stratton, Robin.  "The Ministry of Listening."  Winter 1985.

Spirituality Today (journal) Gula, Richard M.  "Using Scripture in Prayer and Spiritual Direction."  Winter 1984.  Entire issue, March 1981.

Weavings Entire issue.  Vol. II, #4 (July-August 1987)Palmer, Parker J. “All the Way Down; Depression and the Spiritual Journey.” (September/October 1998)  pp.32-41. 

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