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The Meanings and Uses of Spirituality: From secular therapy to spiritual therapy?

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Increasing attention to issues of religion and spirituality within the mainstream of counselling and psychotherapy to spiritual therapy ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Meanings and Uses of Spirituality: From secular therapy to spiritual therapy?


1
The Meanings and Uses of SpiritualityFrom
secular therapy to spiritual therapy?
  • Professor Gordon Lynch
  • Department of Religious Studies
  • University of Kent

2
This is me
  • (ed.) Clinical Counselling in Pastoral Settings,
  • Routledge, 1999.
  • Pastoral Care and Counselling, Sage, 2002.

3
  • Understanding Theology and
  • Popular Culture, Blackwell, 2005.
  • The Sacred in the Modern World,
  • Oxford University Press, 2012.

4
From secular therapy.
5
to spiritual therapy?
  • Increasing attention to issues of religion and
    spirituality within the mainstream of counselling
    and psychotherapy

6
to spiritual therapy?
  • the rise of more explicitly religious/spiritual
    therapeutic models and organizations

7
to spiritual therapy?
  • the emergence of more explicit religious and
    spiritual critiques of secular therapeutic models

8
The collapse of confident narratives of
secularization
  • 1966
    1995

9
The return of the repressedthe 1960s and all
that
  • The rise of the holistic milieu/alternative
    spiritualities, the incorporation of counselling
    and psychotherapy into pastoral care, and the
    backlash of conservative religious sub-cultures

10
What the story excludes
  • the role of counselling and psychotherapy in the
    secularization of pastoral care
  • Usually few of those undergoing theological
    training have sufficient knowledge of psychology,
    especially in its application to themselves, and
    fewer still can grasp that acceptance of the
    knowledge of man sic that has come through
    psychology makes inevitable an alteration in
    emphasis in religious teaching and in some
    aspects the modification or jettisoning of some
    commonly taught theological doctrines or
    religious attitudes.
  • R.S. Lee, Principles of Pastoral Counselling, p.5.

11
What the story excludes
  • the aversion of pastoral theologians to the
    incorporation of counselling and psychotherapy
    into the theology and practice of pastoral care
  • An accredited hierarchical pastoral movement
    will be professional, problem solving or problem
    preventing, standardized and defined. What is
    required is pastoral care which is lay,
    corporate, adventurous, variegated and diffuse
    The pastoral counselling movement must be seen
    as part of a too general assumption by society
    that we come to the good life by delineating
    problems and then either avoiding them or solving
    them.
  • Bob Lambourne, 1971,
  • Objections to a National Pastoral Organization

12
An alternative narrativelocating secular,
religious and spiritual forms of therapy in a
broader social context
  • Therapy and spirituality as both expressions of
    wider processes of individualization
  • Spirituality emerging as significant in
    specific professional contexts
  • The open market-place of care generating
    conflicts over knowledge, healing and power
  • Secular and religious forms of therapy and the
    sacralization of humanity

13
Individualization
  • Rapid social change and movement, changing
    structures of the work-place, and the
    institutional framing of people as consumers
    creates the sense of being a choosing individual
    with responsibility for ones own well-being
  • Therapy and spirituality as expressions of the
    kind of resource to which people turn as
    non-authoritative guides

14
The professional contexts for spirituality
  • Spirituality does not have a single, consistent
    meaning
  • The growth of interest in spirituality in
    specific professional/disciplinary contexts needs
    to be understood in relation to that context
    rather than assuming it to be a mere symptom of a
    broader spirituality revolution

15
An open market-place of care
  • Healing practices are always linked to knowledge
    claims which legitimate those practices. In a
    more open market-place of care, knowledge claims
    (including religious and secular knowledge
    claims) are more fiercely contested.

16
The sacralization of humanity
17
  • Understanding the significance of broader social
    and cultural change, whilst avoiding simplistic
    narratives
  • Attending to specific histories and meso-level
    contexts
  • Seeing beyond simply conflicts between religious
    and spiritual therapy to the structures and
    changes that shape both
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