Beyond Well-Being

Spirituality and Human Flourishing

Edited by:
Maureen Miner, University of Western Sydney
Martin Dowson, Australian College of Ministries
Stuart Devenish, Booth College

Published 2012

This volume arose out of a deep concern to assist people in their struggle to lead a flourishing life. Fractured, stressed, relationally broken and spiritually empty people may instinctively reach for the supposed panacea of happiness. But happiness is often a transitory state. More stable and worthwhile than the pursuit of happiness is leading a flourishing life. But what is flourishing? Is spirituality necessary for human flourishing and, if so, in what ways might spirituality provide a unique and important contribution to flourishing?

The volume provides complementary yet diverse accounts of human flourishing. Each account argues that spirituality in general, and Christian spirituality in particular, are vital contributors to flourishing.

The volume will be valuable for those who are dissatisfied with popular hedonistic approaches to flourishing. Such people are ready for a change in approach, but often do not have a clear alternative in view. The Volume will provide a clear alternative to popular culture‘s representation of the flourishing person, which is largely vested in conspicuous consumption. The book will also be valuable for those who have considered alternatives to popular culture, but who lack an informed basis on which to evaluate these alternatives. Finally, the book will be valuable for those who are committed to Christian spirituality but may not appreciate the rich resources which Christian faith offers for human flourishing. Amongst the latter group are included Christian leaders such as priests and pastors, voluntary church workers and lay people who may or may not be involved in formal religion but who long to flourish in their own lives and to enable others to do the same.

Foreword. SECTION I: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN FLOURISHING. Preface. Spirituality as a Key Resource for Human Flourishing, Maureen Miner and Martin Dowson. Spirituality, Human Flourishing, and Disease, Grant Gillett. The Contribution of Spirituality to Our Understanding of Human Flourishing: The Perspective of Christian Theology, Stuart Devenish. Theology and Human Flourishing: The Benefits of Being “Known by God”, Brian S. Rosner and Loyola M. McLean. SECTION II: RESOURCING HUMAN FLOURISHING. Preface. How Australian People Make Sense of Life and Assess its Ultimate Significance—and the Difference it Might Make, Peter Kaldor, Alan Black, and Philip Hughes. Human Flourishing in Education: The Relationships Among Student Attachments, Attributions and Self-Regulation, Tony George, Maureen Miner, and Martin Dowson. Towards a Theory of Personal Maturity: Links to Spirituality and Human Flourishing, Martin Dowson and Maureen Miner. Savoring Life: The Leader’s Journey to Health, Resilience and Effectiveness, Stephen Smith. SECTION III: PRACTICING HUMAN FLOURISHING. Preface. Spirituality and Community Flourishing: A Case of Circular Causality, Sue Kaldor and Maureen Miner. Guidance and Human Flourishing: The Contribution of Spirituality Explored Through Mentoring and Life Coaching, Diann L. Feldman and Alison D. Feldman. Wholistic Coaching: A Case Study and Analysis, Rick Brouwer and Maureen Miner. The Pilgrim Road to Human Flourishing: When the Psychotherapeutic and the Spiritual Journeys Meet, Loyola M. McLean and Marie-Thérèse Proctor. Conclusion. About the Contributors.