Toward Union in Love: The Contemplative Spiritual Tradition and Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory in the Formation of Persons

Volume
Volume 28
Issue
Winter 2000
Title
Toward Union in Love: The Contemplative Spiritual Tradition and Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory in the Formation of Persons
Abstract

This article explores points of intersection between the Christian tradition of spiritual direction informed by the contemplative spiritual tradition and contemporary psychoanalytic psychology and psychotherapy. These approaches share a common aim of helping persons move beyond current incomplete and distorted images of self and others-€”particularly God as ultimate "€œOther."€ Developmental processes and issues that persons moving from immaturity to maturity encounter throughout the life-course are highlighted. Three such relational/developmental issues explored in this article are nakedness, dis-illusioned awareness, and love. The end-point of spiritual formation, or the making of a soul from the perspective of the contemplative traditions, is "€œunion in love"€ with Christ, powerfully illustrated in Scripture in the metaphor of Christ as Bridegroom and the Church (corporate and individual) as Bride. Finally, implications for "€˜facilitators"€™ of this process, whether in the context of psychotherapy or pastoral care, will be offered.

Author
Dr. R.A. Watson
Pages
282 - 292
Price
Add to Cart $5.00