Monthly Archives: June 2016

Article: Authority in Spiritual Direction Conversations: Dialogic Perspectives, by David Crawley

David Crawley’s article (Journal for the Study of Spirituality 6:1 (2016): 6-19) offers a way of understanding what happens during spiritual direction by focusing the role of authority. Here is the article’s abstract:

The dynamics of authority within spiritual direction relationships are more complex than is often acknowledged. This is especially so in relation to the ways in which meaning is co-authored by directors and directees in their conversations. This paper proposes that authority in such contexts be thought of as ‘authority’, comprising three main elements: presence, ownership and play. The literary theory of Mikhail Bakhtin is used to highlight the dialogic character of all meaning-making, and to illuminate the ways in which these three facets of authority function in conversation. These insights are applied to specific aspects of spiritual direction practice, showing how these may support or subvert directees’ own authority as they seek to make meaning of their lives in partnership with their directors and with God.


Essay: Spiritual Capital and Authentic Subjectivity, by Michael O’Sullivan, SJ

Michael O’Sullivan’s essay appeared in Sacrality and Materiality: Locating Intersections, pp. 49-57. Drawing on the research of Alex Liu and others, Michael argues for the importance of  the fourth of the four capitals (material, intellectual, social, spiritual) within the context of modern society.

In an article in The Tablet (25 May 2013), (Cardinal Kurt) Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, is quoted as saying that Europe needs a “spiritual currency besides the euro.” Koch in this quote is recognizing, it seems to me, that there can be such a thing as spiritual capital, and that there can and indeed needs to be resources rich in spiritual value we can draw from and for the sake of meeting the needs of our world and enhancing  its wellbeing. He is calling for the people of Europe to work out the meaning and value of this currency so that they can dialogue, relate, and cooperate on a shared spiritual basis and with a common spiritual way of proceeding.