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Care of Souls: Revisioning Christian Nurture and Counsel Paperback – December 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0801090639 ISBN-10: 0801090636 Edition: 11.1.1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 11.1.1998 edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801090636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801090639
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David G. Benner is professor of psychology at Redeemer College (Ontario) and a practicing clinical psychologist. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including the Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counseling Dr. Benner is also the founding director of the Institute for Psychospiritual Health, an international network of scholars and practitioners.

More About the Author

Dr. David G. Benner is an internationally known depth psychologist, author, lecturer and cartographer of the human spirit and soul. The underlying passion of his life has been the understanding and pursuit of transformation - not merely healing or even growth, but the unfolding of the self associated with a journey of awakening. This has been the focus of his more than three decades of work in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and his more recent work as a transformational architect and coach. He can be found online through his website at http://www.drdavidgbenner.ca/ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DrDavidGBenner or Twitter @drdavidgbenner.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Soul care involves nurture and support as well as healing and restoration. Soul refers to the whole person, including the body, but with particular focus on the inner world of thinking, feeling, and willing. The author describes soul care through the ages, and also shows how relevant insights from modern psychology can be an integral part of this much needed activity. The description of Jesus as the model soul shepherd, the comprehensive description of what Christian spirituality is, the comparison of various forms of Christian soul care (i.e. Christian Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Care), and the guidance for both how to give and receive soul care are excellent. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to go deeper in their relationship with God, and also for those who want to help other people to do the same.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Teresa Trascritti on December 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
In "Care of Souls," Benner proposes to explain "soul care" in its totality. He does so by examining the ideal characteristics of soul care providers, presenting his own definition of "dialogue," and explaining in detail the distinctiveness of "Christian spirituality." Unlike typical counseling techniques, Benner suggests that "providers of soul care" ought to offer "judicious advice, suggestions or offerings of direction" (155). He reasons that if dialogue is based on an "authentic relationship of care" then offering "ideas" and "suggestions" are expected (155).

I found the "seven characteristics of Christian soul care" helpful because I used the list to measure my own "qualifications" (207). Benner states that soul care providers should be "spiritually mature," which includes descriptors such as "personal holiness" and "well-developed habits of prayer" (209). The term "personal holiness" seems vague because it might be misconstrued as "holier than thou." The "demands of Christian soul care" are realistic and should be expected from all "soul care" providers (212). I think counselees expect (and deserve to get) truthfulness from the counselor; and counselors should "continue to grow" through continuing education, but more importantly they should continue to grow in their relationship with Christ in order to remain effective in their Christian counseling practices (213).

I found Benner's presentation of the future dilemma of "soul care" to be very troubling. According to Benner, soul care is not clinical or therapeutic (in the secular sense). Even though it is not clinical, soul care that is provided by a lay counselor will be seen as "substandard" and if it is promoted as "distinctly Christian," it will not be taken seriously (215).
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By chawanga on October 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Took longer to read the first half than the second, but enjoyed the last few chapters the most. The section on dreams was fascinating, and the practical steps one should take before seeking "soul care"/counseling were extremely helpful and probably the best take-away from the book for myself.
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By Mhostetler on October 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I completely enjoyed this reading even though it was a required text for course work. I highly recommend it to every Christian as preparation for "bearing the burdens" of others. It provides encouragement and motivation for becoming personally whole as well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a very practical book. It doesn't give step-by-step instructions for how to do something.
But it is nevertheless a very interesting read, with thought-provoking information.
It is more a philosophical and ethical discussion on the idea of care, and one I enjoyed.
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