Saint Paul as Spiritual Director
An Analysis of the Concept of the Imitation of Paul with Implications and Applications to the Practice of Spiritual Direction
Paternoster Biblical Monographs
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
342 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.68 in
- Published: February 2008
- Published: February 2008
In recent years much has been written on spiritual direction. However, confusion and at times outright contradiction exist between the aims and methodologies of various models of Christian spiritual direction. In order to develop solid criteria for evaluating and critiquing these models it is necessary to root the practice of spiritual direction in the biblical record. The intention of this study is to provide such biblical moorings by examining the Apostle Paul as a case study in his function as a spiritual director--with respect to his aims and praxis of spiritually forming the members of the congregations he founded.
"In this wise, discerning, and pastorally suggestive book, Vic Copan unravels before our eyes how the theme of imitating Paul can reshape our spiritual direction to become more Christian in theory and practice. Believe me, there is no book like this on the market. Here is a true pastoral theology of Paul."
--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
"Victor Copan has achieved a breakthrough in his combination of Greco-Roman foundations, close exegesis of relevant Pauline texts, full engagement with post-modern deconstruction of Paul's imitation language, and pastoral considerations for those involved in spiritual direction. Students of Paul's letters in the academy and those involved in either side of spiritual direction relationships in the parish will benefit from this well-conceived book. Copan delivers what he promises in clearly written chapters that are rooted in solid research, careful exegesis of the Pauline imitation passages, and open-eyed engagement with the pitfalls and possibilities of Christian spiritual direction today."
--Mark Reasoner, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Bethel University
"In our age of political correctness, it sounds somewhat out of place to hear Christian leaders enjoining others to imitate their lifestyle, in particular because of the connotations of pride, position, and privilege. This study engages rigorously with recent scholarship on the Pauline use of the metaphor and makes a clear and unapologetic defense of its use in pastoral contexts. Such a carefully argued thesis will make a valuable contribution to the fields both of Pauline scholarship and pastoral training."
--Andrew D. Clark, King's College, University of Aberdeen