Faith Styles

Ways People Believe

John R. Mabry

Nov/2006, 144 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819222220



A noted spiritual director suggests new ways of looking at how different people understand and relate to the divine. Explores the many styles of faith that characterize believers in all religions, examines the various modes of believing, and offers ways for spiritual directors to use this knowledge as they work with their clients. Includes illustrative case studies and practical suggestions for offering spiritual direction.

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.
Series titles thus far include:

Discerning Life Transitions
Listening Together in Spiritual Direction

Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction

Awakening the Creative Spirit
Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction

Out of Darkness, Into Light
Spiritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Jewish and Christian Sources

Tending the Holy
Spiritual Direction Across Traditions

The Heart of Spiritual Direction

Anglican Spiritual Direction

Faith Styles
Ways People Believe

Spiritual Direction in Context

Supervision of Spiritual Directors
Engaging in Holy Mystery

For more information on SDI, please visit

John Mabry has spent  nineteen years in pastoral ministry, and fourteen years in private practice as a spiritual director, serving people of different generations.

For five years he edited Presence: An International Journey of Spiritual Direction, the professional journal for spiritual directors, and currently directs the interfaith spiritual direction certificate program at the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry, in Berkeley, CA.

He has published several books, including Noticing the Divine: An Introduction to Interfaith Guidance, a textbook for interfaith spiritual direction, published by Morehouse in 2006.

A United Church of Christ minister, John is pastor of Grace North Church (Congregational) in Berkeley, California.

"Genuine dialogue requires understanding and honoring the other ‘as other.' By providing vivid descriptions of various faith-stances, Mabry's interesting sketches will motivate serious participants in inter-faith dialogue to pursue further knowledge of how differently-and sincerely-believers experience their faith. In a post-9/11 world of tension fueled by sectarian divisions, Mabry's survey of the landscape of faith is a timely guide for deeper exploration and mutual understanding." -Wilkie Au, Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University and coauthor of The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian Path

"This is a fascinating book, giving tremendous insight into why people of the same religion are often at such odds with others who share their faith. John Mabry peels back the layers of religion to reveal the more basic psychological, social, and spiritual differences between us. He shows how people in all religions, and even agnostics and atheists, seem to cluster into one of six basic approaches to faith, approaches that may divide those within a particular religion, while ironically making them similar to those of different faiths. This book is a must read for those trying to understand the human spiritual yearning and why we choose the faith practices that we do."-N. Graham Standish, Ph.D., M.S.W., pastor, spiritual director, and author of Humble Leadership, Becoming a Blessed Church and Discovering a Narrow Path (

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