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Ain’t We Got Soul Political, Religious, and Transcendent Features of Soul Care.

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Presentation on theme: "Ain’t We Got Soul Political, Religious, and Transcendent Features of Soul Care."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ain’t We Got Soul Political, Religious, and Transcendent Features of Soul Care

2 Sessions 1 st –Political, religious, and transcendent realms of soul care 2 nd –Healthy and sick souls 3 rd –Care of one’s soul

3 Premises EmbodiedRelational Shaped by time Shaped by culture Complex & varied

4 Flourishing of the Soul Individual and shared experiences of being alive and real. –Meaning and meaningfulness –Purpose and purposefulness –Immanence and transcendence –Agency and surrender Embodiment Relationality Time Culture Complexity

5 Political Realm Orders social relationships for the sake of human flourishing Aim and function of the polis is justice –Justice is founded on recognition and treatment of the Other as person. –Justice is founded on repair of relationships of misrecognition (impersonalization & depersonalization)

6 Political Realm Virtue –Phronesis—practical wisdom Acknowledge and preserve the dignity of other human beings The labor of emotional intelligence in encountering the Other

7 Political Realm Ministry education –Student & supervisor –Traditions of care & justice Contexts of care of souls

8 Religious Realm Foundation and purpose of religion— community & communion (fellowship) Virtues—love and hospitality

9 Religious Realm For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation…. Love does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person…. Rather, it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for another’s sake. (Rilke)

10 Transcendent Realm Encounter with and reverence of the wholly Other Virtue—compassion –Compassion requires the double movement of surpassing and surrendering.

11 Summary Souls Political Realm Aim—Justice Virtue—Phronesis Religious Realm Aim—Community Virtues—Love and Hospitality Transcendent Realm Aim—Encounter with Wholly Other Virtue—Compassion


13 Care of Souls Sick and Healthy Souls

14 Soul Diagnosis Caveats –Diagnosis involves both grasping and distorting the Other –Reductionism –Overlooking systemic contributions to sick & healthy souls –Diagnoses are culturally contingent –Diagnoses should be relational –Degrees of soul sickness (or health)

15 Soul Sickness The distortion of various psycho-social capacities, which result in the loss or attenuation of persons’ subjective and intersubjective sense of aliveness, meaningfulness, purposefulness, and belonging.

16 Agency (subjective and intersubjective) –Freedom –Spontaneity –Passion –Authorship/Authenticity (vocation/avocation) –Accountability Distortions of Agency –Bondage/Compulsions/Obses sions/Addictions/Passivity –Rigid structure & control of the future/fear and denial of the past –Indifference/Killing off desire/Anhedonia –Acquiescence/Submission (versus surrender)/Reactive or rebelliousness/False self –Blame/Victim identity/Denial/Dissociation HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS

17 Emotional Intelligence –Recognition and appropriate articulation of one’s feelings –Recognition and containment of the Other’s emotional experiences –Repair of emotional dis- ruptions Distortions of Emotional Intelligence –Lack of… –Acting out one’s feelings –Avoidance/Dismissal –Rejection of self- reflection HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS

18 Play –Curiosity –Openness to Novelty –Imagination –Humor Distortions of Play –Incurious –Boredom/Depression/Desp air/Futility –Just the facts (Freud)/Overly rational –Rigidity –Defense against vulnerability –Fear of change/Nostalgia –Fear of difference –Fear of failure/Shame/Inadequacy HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS

19 Reverence –Irreverence –Awe Distortions of Reverence –Overly serious –Overly cynical and skeptical (lack of hope) –Resentment/bitterness –Wishing HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS

20 Mystery – Acceptance of ambiguity and paradox –Acceptance and use of ignorance –Surrender to not- knowing Distortions of Mystery –Certainty –Fear of doubt & ambiguity –Forms of subjugation HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS

21 Intimacy – Desire/Will for belongingness –Acceptance of the paradox of likeness in difference and difference in likeness –Desire and work for relational repair –Capacity for solitude Distortions of Intimacy –Isolation/Compulsive togetherness –Identity politics –Pseudo repairs HEALTHY SOULS SICK SOULS



24 Care for One’s Soul Soul care and self care Soul Care –Cultivating the capacities of reverence and awe –Possessing the capacity for self-reflective critique of one’s milieu –Withdrawal is for the sake of return

25 Care for One’s Soul Context—work/ministry –How is the social context conducive to cultivating souls? –How is my ministry enlivening?

26 Care for One’s Soul Political realm and phronesis—practical wisdom Religious realm and love and hospitality Transcendent realm and compassion

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