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Soulful Spirituality: Becoming Fully Alive and Deeply Human

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  85 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Brazos Press
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Rod White
Nov 16, 2011 Rod White rated it liked it
Wrote this review for a class:

I will recommend to everyone seeking to development in their adult faith David Benner's "trilogy:"

Surrender to Love (2003)
The Gift of Being Yourself (2004)
Desiring God's Will (2005)

I have used these books in the church; I have recommended them to spiritual directees; I have
encouraged people to read them when they need to go beyond their inadequate understanding and practices and want to move into adult spiritual life. His books are not for people looking for easy a
Benjamin Vineyard
Apr 10, 2011 Benjamin Vineyard rated it it was ok
I rate Soulful Spirituality an "only ok" rating. That's not to say that I didn't learn something. My big take away was the comparison of "soul" to "spirit" in Benner's work. Soul is the grounding of who we are; Spirit is the expression or energy or passion we express. I thought that was a neat way to look at things - that we need health in both our grounding, in who we are, as well as in the way we express life.

Another part I appreciated about Benner's work was the concept and reminder that we
Vanessa Siemens
Mar 19, 2017 Vanessa Siemens rated it really liked it
Appreciate the integration of psychology and spirituality and the spiritual practices presented in the second half of the book are refreshing and engaging as ways to continue to go deeper with God and in being transformed into who we truly are.
Sep 21, 2014 David rated it it was ok
My therapist told me to ignore the first half of this book due to its technicality and just read the spiritual practices section in the latter half. I wish I had followed his advice. I found my eyes glazing over, but I was stubborn and pushed through. Benner just was not very accessible, too heady. It wasn't without value, though. His distinction between spirit and soul was a useful model for understand different parts of the internal self, though they are not truly "spirit" and "soul" as the Bi ...more
Glen Grunau
Mar 08, 2011 Glen Grunau rated it really liked it
I have come to appreciate Benner for his special ability to elucidate the essence of Christian contemplative spirituality in a way that is easily accessible for most readers. Although he writes this book primarily for a Christian audience, he is appealing to an even broader range of seekers - those for whom religion has never been a meaningful reference point in their spiritual seeking. For his research for this book, Benner relied on his time spent in Asia and his dialogue with Buddhists, Taois ...more
Garland Vance
I have been a fan of David Benner for a while and was very excited to read this book about being fully human. Unfortunately, I found this book to be bi-polar--sometimes incredible and deeply insightful while other times confusing and annoying. Sometimes it was a 5 star book, while other times being a 1 star book. Benner's chapter on the connections between he body, sexuality and spirituality were so insightful. They might be worth the price of the book.
The rest of the book tried too hard to poi
Sep 11, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing
"Our true spirituality is always the meaning we actually live, not the meaning to which we give cognitive or verbal assent." (p75)
"There is no sense preventing that being religious - even Christian - automatically makes you a whole, vital, and growing human being. It simply does not. I believe that Christian spirituality can and should lead to all these things. In fact, as I have suggested, I am convinced that becoming fully human is right at the centre of the Christian spiritual journey. But as
Charles Dean
Aug 02, 2012 Charles Dean rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
This was a tough book to give stars to. At times I was bored, but then at other moments it was so deeply insightful that I'd think "this is the most profound book I've ever read!". So, I guess the term is "uneven.". I wouldn't say it's an easy read - but it promises to come up in conversations on spirituality.
Beth Booram
May 08, 2012 Beth Booram rated it it was amazing
Benner is putting into words many thoughts I've had about the spirituality of being deeply human. My mind and soul is being fed once again through Benner's astute psychological and spiritual insights.
Great book, nice summary on important spiritual practices and formation.
Keith Atkinson
This is a great read of becoming fully whole in Christ. It reminds me of some of Richard Rohr's books.
Abi rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2016
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Sep 26, 2012 Drshar rated it really liked it
A continuous trek for being human and unarmed is oft a missed journey
Marcos Apolonio
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  • Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation
  • A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
  • The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart
  • Gratefulness, The Heart Of Prayer: An Approach To Life In Fullness
  • Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
  • Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life
  • Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today
  • Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
  • Armchair Mystic: Easing Into Contemplative Prayer
  • In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer
  • Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day
  • Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West
  • Will and Spirit
  • Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone
  • Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina
  • The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life
  • Prayer and Temperament
David G. Benner (PhD, York University; postdoctoral studies, Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis) is an internationally known depth psychologist, author, spiritual guide, and personal transformation coach. He currently serves as Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Spirituality at the Psychological Studies Institute, Richmont Graduate University. He has authored or edited more than t ...more
More about David G. Benner...

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“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” 1 likes
“Only suffering and struggle, and all the dark experiences that come with them, will grow a soul big enough to hold our life. This happens when we ground ourselves in the blood, sweat, and tears of ordinary life.” 0 likes
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