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Soulful Spirituality [Paperback]

David Benner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 2011
Spirituality has an indispensable role to play in the expression of our humanity. However, spiritual practices can sometimes make us less, not more, authentically human. We may be good Christians, but we aren't good human beings. How can we ensure that our spiritual journey is conducted in a way that allows us to become fully alive and deeply human?

David Benner has spent thirty-five years integrating psychology and spirituality. Here he presents an expansive, psychologically informed understanding of spirituality, probing the contrasts between soulful and soulless spirituality, deep and shallow religion, and healthy and unhealthy relationships with God to affirm the vital role of human development in the spiritual journey. Benner then suggests soulful practices for cultivating the Christian spiritual life.

This book will appeal to readers seeking depth and substance in their quest for authentic spirituality. It will also be a helpful resource for mental health professionals and spiritual directors. Reflection questions and exercises for individual or group use are included at the end of each chapter.

Frequently Bought Together

Soulful Spirituality + The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery + Desiring God's Will: Aligning Our Hearts with the Heart of God
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.98

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From the Back Cover

"A masterpiece of understanding and guidance"

"David Benner offers us a masterpiece of understanding and guidance for mature, fully alive human living. The profound and fiercely honest human and spiritual wisdom found here will leave the reader more in touch with both the impediments to full human aliveness and the possibilities of such aliveness, which are aided by the many concrete spiritual practices that he offers. He challenges our settling for a narrow, repressed way of life and spirituality and calls us to become more truly alive in every dimension of our being: body, soul, and spirit."--Tilden Edwards, founder and senior fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Washington, DC

"David Benner has done it again! In this profound, highly readable book that plumbs the depths, he integrates his impressive gifts in psychology and theology with his own lived spirituality as a lifelong seeker. To immerse oneself in Soulful Spirituality is the next best thing to sitting down with him for a transforming, intimate, and enlivening conversation."--Margaret Guenther, professor emerita of ascetical theology and former director of the Center for Christian Spirituality, General Theological Seminary

"I believe this will be David Benner's most important book. Some will find it controversial. But many more, I believe, will find it hope- and life-giving. Soulful Spirituality moves the reader beyond beliefs and practices to the discovery of the rich resources of an in-bodied Christian spirituality, resources for helping you become the unique and whole human being you were intended to be."--Gary W. Moon, vice president and integration chair, Richmont Graduate University; author, Apprenticeship with Jesus

"Someone needed to write this book and I'm glad it was David Benner. His wise, incisive, and winsome style makes unsettling truth easier to receive and challenges to the status quo profoundly liberating."--Ruth Haley Barton, founder, Transforming Center; author, Sacred Rhythms and Invitation to Solitude and Silence

About the Author

David G. Benner (PhD, York University; post-doctoral studies, Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis) is an internationally known depth psychologist, author, spiritual guide, and personal transformation coach who has spent thirty-five years integrating psychology and spirituality. He currently serves as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Spirituality at Psychological Studies Institute, Richmont Graduate University (Atlanta, Georgia). He has authored or edited more than twenty books--including Strategic Pastoral Counseling--lectures widely around the world, and has held numerous clinical and academic appointments. Visit his website at

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5.0 out of 5 stars Soul & Spirit Oct. 16 2014
By M&C
This book clarifies the relationship between the soul and the spirit (detail reference at Kindle location 981, 985, 1002 - 1072). Restlessness is to do with one's soul being unable to rest in God. In order to live a full life (an abundant life), a person needs to embrace the inconsistencies between one's ideal and actual self.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant work! April 3 2011
By Kelley Howsare - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Soulful Spirituality is a brilliant work. Benner takes his experience in psychology and spirituality and clearly lays out the categories we need for understanding how to grow and become fully alive. As with many of his other books, I've found Benner's words to be a mentor's voice as I am going through a much needed paradigm change in how I view ministry and life as a spiritual person. Soulful Spirituality is different from his other recent books in that it does require some time in thinking through and rereading the definitions and metaphors that he lays out in the earlier chapters. But I found that it was worth the effort! Benner clarifies essential psychological and spiritual terminology that has been muddled and complicated over the years and lays out basic principles and practices for living life in a way that is fruitful, joyful and fulfilling.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the pieces together May 18 2011
By Jay Stanton Goldstein - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Soulful Spirituality is quickly becoming the manifesto to the rest of my life. I suspect this will go down as one of the best integrations of psychology and spiritual formation in a long time. Benner has helped connect and clarify the most important aspects of my life that I have been working on, struggling to understand and to practice for the last fifteen plus years. Benner brings a profound and comprehensive view of human nature and one I find quite reliable. I love the clear distinctions he provides throughout like between soul and spirit, reason and wonder, ego and self, and many more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bountiful journey of discovery April 11 2014
By Lorelei King - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The things I found most rewarding in Benner's authorship is the way in which he is able to allow the reader to journey into a pilgrimage into one's own spiritual depths...Questions at the end of each section provide opportunity for an inner inventory (or time with a Spiritual Director). A time for "spiritual surrender", a time to feel the sense of "belonging" and a time to begin to become the sense of "I". My understanding and putting a face to what soul and spirituality is to me and how that unfolds in my world; how I choose to further explore that in my walk with my own Spiritual-ness, my soul-being.... Easy to rate this author and invite the desire to read more of his work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure Nov. 10 2013
By Dorothy McCabe - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow, the first 20 pages of Benner's book had me hooked. What deep and transformational guidance in an easily accessible format for those of us humans stumbling along on our spiritual journey. The text in my copy is heavily highlighted for future use. This is a treasure trove of insight by this highly regarded psychologist, designed to savor and grow from. It has taken me from having a religious "belief system" to living a functional faith. Thank you, Dr. Benner.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Benner's book 'Soulful Spirituality' March 25 2013
By Philly215 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was recommended to me by a former pastor of mine & fellow member of our book club. I found full of great wisdom. It will be a book a
I reference back to as well. It gets a bit "textbook like" at time, that is a bit heavy, but overall I was blessed very mush by reading this book.
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