Emotion & Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm, Pt 2. Implicit Morality & "Minimal Prosociality"

Volume
Volume 35
Issue
Winter 2007
Title
Emotion & Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm, Pt 2. Implicit Morality & "Minimal Prosociality"
Abstract

The relevance of metapsychology for theory and research on personality change and spiritual transformation cannot be overstated. The objective of this three-article series is to work toward a new approach to the study of the affective basis of spiritual transformation (Emmons, 2005), specifically a moral motive analysis. Envisioned here, the essential task of such an analysis is to model how persons expand their implicit capacity for mature relationality (e.g., compassion), and move beyond €"minimal prosociality"€ (Saroglou, 2006). The objective of the present article is two-fold. It summarizes seven principles of the recently outlined (Hall, 2004) and now expanding (Shults & Sandage, 2006) relational spirituality paradigm. Second, seeking to extend this paradigm, this article reviews the apophatic tradition in terms of Murphy'€™s three descriptive dimensions: telos, problem, and process (discussed in Part 1). Following Jones (2002), the central thesis developed is that the apophatic "€œway"€ is not simply an optional approach to spirituality as typically conceived rather it represents a distinct and essential principle (subtractive) and type of personality change (transformist). This article discusses the meaning of subtractive transformational change in light of recent thinking on the multiple therapeutic actions of psychodynamically informed therapy (Gabbard & Westen, 2003). The article commends the systematic inclusion of this principle and type of change into models of psychotherapy and spiritual formation concerned with moral character (virtue) development. Third, this article briefly overviews a specific moral motive approach that follows in Part 3.

Author
Dr. G.M. Leffel
Pages
281 - 297
Price
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