Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Anglican Spiritual Direction

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Anglican Spiritual Direction

Article excerpt

PETER BALL. Anglican Spiritual Direction. Boston, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 1998. Pp. xii +209. $12.95 (paper).

This book is an expanded version of Peter Ball's earlier Journey inlo Truth (Mowbrays, London, 1995). Following a time as lellow in residence at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, and at a number of other places in the States, Peter Ball has been able to incorporate material relevant to the somewhat different American ethos and assumptions as they bear on the practice of spiritiual direction. The fact that the book has been retitled with an explicit reference to spiritual direction is an indication both of how spiritual direction is increasingly owned and recognized in the life of the church, and of the professionalization of spiritual direction in a culture which is far more overtly engaged with therapy, popular psychology and counseling than is the case in the Church of England.

Writing in an admirably clear style, 'ind with judicious quotations, Peter Ball surveys the English Pastoral tradition, represented by ligures such as George Herbert, Jeremy Taylor and Thomas Ken, and he notes mediaeval roots in Lady Julian's Revelations of Divine Love and the anonymous Cloud of Unknowing. He goes on to explore the revival of both confession and spiritual direction under the influence of the Oxford Movement and the Catholic revival, contrasting this with Methodism and the Evangelical revival. In England in more recent times the hidden ministry of Reginald Somerset Ward was a major influence in the development of spiritual direction, and Kenneth Leech's Soul Friend (1977) was a book which helped many who would not naturally use the language of "spiritual direction" to see its importance.

In the Episcopal Church the older traditions ol spiritual direction were encouraged by the religious orders, notably the Order of the Holy Cross (and particularly Father Shirley Hughson) and the Society of St. …

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