Prayers to an Evolutionary God

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Overview

Provides the requisite knowledge and practical guidelines for some of the most common counseling situations.

Today's rabbis, in addition to being spiritual leaders of their congregations, are also expected to be competent counselors to members of their community. Yet rabbis often feel inadequately prepared for the difficult challenges of their counseling role.

To many, rabbinic counseling appears deceptively simple, requiring no more than good ...

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Prayers to an Evolutionary God

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Overview

Provides the requisite knowledge and practical guidelines for some of the most common counseling situations.

Today's rabbis, in addition to being spiritual leaders of their congregations, are also expected to be competent counselors to members of their community. Yet rabbis often feel inadequately prepared for the difficult challenges of their counseling role.

To many, rabbinic counseling appears deceptively simple, requiring no more than good intuition, fair judgment and sincere empathy. Good counseling, in reality, is a complex process requiring a combination of knowledge, skill, self-awareness and an understanding of human dynamics.

This groundbreaking book—written specifically for community rabbis and religious counselors—reflects the wisdom of seasoned professionals, who provide clear guidelines and sensible strategies for effective rabbinic counseling.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cleary, a former Jesuit priest, offers a prayer-book and catechism of sorts, rooted in process theology and the evolutionary mysticism of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Chardin's poetic and scientific artistry, however, is sadly lacking in this volume of lyrically flat-footed prayers interspersed with pedantic metaphysical commentary. Cleary struggles to articulate a role for verbal prayer in post-traditional spirituality: "you know in advance that talking to God is like talking to your dog"-perhaps not pointless, but not essentially concerned with what is being said. Accordingly the book's prayers tend to equivocate between disclaiming God's personal involvement in the world ("You really have no divine face that smiles on us, no hands that distribute blessings or hold us safe") and recognizing it ("We bless you for your caringness through all the eons of evolutionary unfolding"). Evolution is, as expected, a dominant theme for many of the prayers. But Cleary's concept of evolution is hard to untangle, especially when the possibility of divine guidance makes evolution almost like creation, albeit without the accountability that a traditional Creator bears towards creation: "Holy Mystery, our relational spirit-creator, allow us to feel nonplussed by your evolutionary strategies." Reflections like these put humanity in its place, but confronted with such profound ambiguities about who is being addressed in prayer and what its relationship to us might be, meditation or silent contemplation probably come more easily than verbal or written prayers. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594730061
  • Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 999,769
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

William Cleary was former assistant editor at the Catholic weekly America and the author of many books on spirituality. He is a former Jesuit priest, filmmaker, and composer. His musical Chun Hyang Song was performed at the Seoul Olympics. Cleary was married to a Unitarian Universalist minister and was the father of two musician sons. His website is www.clearyworks.com.

Diarmuid O'Murchu is a priest and social psychologist currently based in London. He lectures internationally and writes extensively on new paradigms from a multidisciplinary point of view. His works include Quantum Theology: Reclaiming Spirituality and Our World in Transition.

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