Book Award

Reading Time: < 1 minute I was recently awarded for my book The Storied Self: A Narrative Approach to the Spiritual Care of the Aged. I received the Australasian Journal of Ageing Book Award 2019 at the 52nd Australian Association of Gerontology National Conference in Sydney on 7 November 2019. To be eligible for the award the book had to be:… Read More

Self-paced Study Guide for Unconscious Spiritual Learning

Reading Time: < 1 minute I have developed a study guide from my book, Before Belief: Discovering First Spiritual Awareness, soon to be published by Rowman and Littlefield (late 2019) The idea of unconscious spiritual learning is to return to the earliest influences of our spiritual formation. This is where we began. But it is not where we end. The… Read More

“I am worthless!” Thinking about Low Self-esteem

Reading Time: 3 minutes Not everyone finds value in themselves. You can think about low self-esteem on a range from under-appreciating personal strengths to a profound self-loathing. It commonly affects even the most admired of people. I think of Princess Diana, the celebrity princess of a generation. Apparently, she had it all: celebrity, beauty, wealth, aristocratic ‘blue blood’, and… Read More

Do We Have a Preferred Sense for God?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Aristotle identified the five senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. We are born with these senses and it is how we encounter reality. But do we have a preferred sense? Imagine the following: You arrive at your holiday destination. It is a beach resort. What is your first reaction? (a) To enjoy the feel of the sand under your feet? Or the warmth of the sun? Of the cool sea breeze on your face? (b) Do you hear the waves breaking? The sound of sea gulls or the rustling of leaves in the wind? (c) Do you enjoy the view of the beach, the blue sea and the movement of people. (d) The smell of the sea or the flowers around? (e) Or do you look for exotic dining with new dishes to try out? Read More

Why Early Spirituality?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Why is early spirituality important? I imagine that this topic will interest clergy, chaplains, pastoral counsellors, spiritual directors and mental health professionals interested in spiritual formation. The area of unconscious spiritual learning has been mostly neglected with unfortunate consequences. For example, we end up doing ministry blind. It is like the children’s game of ‘pin the tail on the donkey’. We begin with generalized assumptions about the person we are seeking to help, after all the donkey is there somewhere, but easily miss the distinctives of what needs to change. Almost always there are elements of dysfunctional learning. I have found that this learning, once discovered, can be very specific. The ‘blindfold’ is taken off! Read More