Anglican Spiritual Direction

Anglican Spiritual Direction

Anglican Spiritual Direction by Peter Ball

Peter Ball looks at some of the leading figures from the past to illustrate the roots and development of Anglican spiritual direction: George Herbert, Lancelot Andrewes, John Wesley, Somerset Ward, and Evelyn Underhill. More recent influences in the revival of interest in the subject have been Kenneth Leech, Alan Jones, Gordon Jeff, and Margaret Guenther.


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“This is an invaluable guide to territory that is still sadly unfamiliar to many Anglicans. It gives a full picture of the distinctive style and content of the spiritual counsel offered by classical Anglican writers, discuses the rather mixed effects of the nineteenth-century adaptations of Roman Catholic material, and provides a critical overview of the various approaches that have emerged more recently in worldwide Anglican practice. A clear, helpful survey with much that will inspire and instruct.”

Dr. Rowan Williams,
Archbishop of Canterbury

“Grounded and open, this eminently practical and incarnational guide draws on the depths of our ancient tradition with a post-modern willingness to engage all of being – soul, spirit, and body, as well as mind. A most useful introduction to spiritual direction and its current practice in the Anglican tradition.”

Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

“In this comprehensive and accessible book, Peter Ball reminds us of the distinctive and significant contributions of the Anglican tradition to the ministry of spiritual direction. His work invites the reader to further exploration of the great figures and movements of past centuries, too often overlooked but profoundly relevant to the cure of souls. Further, his thoughtful examination of the work of Anglican spiritual directors throughout the world today offers fresh insight into this rich tradition.”

Margaret Guenther, author of Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction
At Home in the World: A Rule of Life for the Rest of Us

“This fascinating and instructive overview reminds us of the humane and ‘non-violent’ experience of the classic Anglican experience of Spirituality and its subsequent tradition of spiritual guidance. Just as Peter Ball shows just how much the Anglican experience is rooted in Scripture and history as well as communal and personal prayer and experience, so each chapter offers the chance to ground and personalise the topic through question and reflection. The tensions between the gifted amateur and the professional, true for many though not all traditions of spiritual guidance today, are laid bare and the reader is left free to make their own minds up about this as about other matters, such as future developments and the ways forward over different areas of strength and weakness.”

Andrew Walker, director of the
London Centre for Spirituality


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