Awakening the Creative Spirit

Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction

Christine Valters Paintner, Betsey Beckman

Feb/2010, 256 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819223715



The resource is designed to help spiritual directors and others use expressive arts in the context of spiritual direction. It is the latest book in the unique SDI series, designed for professional spiritual directors, but also useful for clergy, therapists, and Christian formation specialists.

The Spiritual Directors International Series – This book is part of a special series produced by Morehouse Publishing in cooperation with Spiritual Directors International (SDI), a global network of some 6,000 spiritual directors and members.

Christine Valters Paintner holds a Ph.D. in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union and is an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. She is also a Registered Expressive Arts Consultant and Educator, art editor for Presence Journal, and author of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements and Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening and Awareness.She lives in Galway, Ireland.

Betsey Beckman, MM is a professional liturgical dancer, storyteller, author, spiritual director and retreat leader based in Seattle. With her extensive background in performance, choreography and liturgy, she regularly appears as artist/presenter at national conventions as well as at her home parish, St. Patrick's Catholic Church. She is the co-author of Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction and the producer of The Dancing Word DVD series, offering a full repertory of StoryDance meditations on women in scripture.

“I put this at the top of the list as required reading for spiritual directors and spiritual formation classes. The clear, foundational writing introduces ‘art in service to the soul.’ Brimming with multiple art forms, we get to hear the voices of directors and directees who are profoundly affected by the arts. This book is the next best thing to learning directly from such wise, inspiring teachers.”—Cynthia Winton-Henry, cofounder of InterPlay®, author of Dance—A Sacred Art, and What the Body Wants.

“We have been far too left-brained, verbal, and linear in our attempts to transform and mature actual people—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Here we have two women filling the tragic gap—and beautifully so! Spiritual direction is the growing edge of ministry today and this excellent book will surely direct that growth.”—Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

“Word, image, music, dance: this book provides a rich vocabulary for entering more deeply into conversation and communion with the One who gives us the arts as path to knowing God.” —Jan Richardson, artist and author, In Wisdom’s Path: Discovering the Sacred in Every Season

“… [A]n inspiring and regenerating piece of work that teaches the intrinsic significance of the arts and the value of engaging body, mind and spirit in creative pursuit of awakening the Holy that resides within.”—Rebecca Bradburn Langer, D. Min., Adjunct Faculty, San Francisco Theological Seminary Program in Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Director, Pastor and teacher of supervisors in “Together In The Mystery” with Dr. Maria Tattu Bowen

“Replete with exercises, examples, stories, and resources, Awakening the Creative Spirit offers the most comprehensive guide to date on how to develop the ‘spark of divine creativity’ embedded in us all. Those of us engaged in teaching the art of spiritual direction will find in it a beautiful introduction to the arts as the ‘language of the soul.’”—Mary Rose Bumpus, RSM, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Spirituality, School of Theology and Ministry Seattle University

“Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman showcase the gifts of storytelling, imagination, dance, visual art, music, movement, poetry and presence. Through a gentle weaving of their insightful work, with reflections from workshop participants and the community of spiritual directors, the authors prepare a dazzling palette for discovery and deepening.”—Marianne Hieb, RSM, ATR, MFA, D.Min., Director, Lourdes Wellness Spirituality Program, and author of Inner Journeying through Art-Journaling

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