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ISBN:031336530X
Author: Damon J. Thomas,J. Pittman McGehee
ISBN13: 978-0313365300
Title: The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are (Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality)
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Language: English
Category: Humanities
Publisher: Praeger; First Edition; First Printing edition (November 30, 2008)
Pages: 160

The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are (Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality) by Damon J. Thomas,J. Pittman McGehee



The invisible church : finding spirituality where you are, J. Pittman McGehee and Damon J. Thomas. p. cm. - (Psychology, religion, and spirituality, ISSN 1546–8070) Includes bibliographical references and index. No portion of this book may be reproduced, by any process or technique, without the express written consent of the publisher. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2008037537 ISBN: 978–0–313–36530–0 ISSN: 1546–8070 First published in 2009 Praeger Publishers, 88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881 An imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. ww. raeger. com Printed in the United States of America.

The Invisible Church by Pittman McGehee and Damon Thomas is the most provocative understanding of the psychology of religion that I have read since Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving. It speaks to our obvious questions. It awakens our unconscious yearnings. John Shelby Spong, Author, Jesus for the Non-Religious). Pittman McGehee to address this formidable task. Robert A. Johnson D. Hum, Author of numerous bestsellers including She, He, We and Inner Work). Feisty, pungent, learned, and always thought provoking, J. Pittman McGehee points us to spiritual experiences without walls. Essential reading for anyone interested in direct, lived experience of the sacred. Dr. Jerry M. Ruhl, Jungian psychologist and co-author of Living Your Unlived Life and Balancing Heaven and Earth).

Series Statement: Psychology, religion, and spirituality. Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. -) and index.

Home Browse Books Book details, The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where. The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are. By J. Pittman McGehee, Damon J. The interface between psychology, religion, and spirituality has been of great interest to scholars for a century. Freud had a negative outlook on the relationship between psychology, religion, and spirituality and thought the interaction between them was destructive. Chapter 9 - Finding a Healthy Spirituality and Encountering the Transcendent in Everyday Life 107. Notes 127. Selected Bibliography 131.

The Invisible Church : Finding Spirituality Where You Are. Select Format: Hardcover. This volume offers a critique of the current status of organized religion in America, and offers a path to living one's life both spiritually and religiously in faith to oneself. ISBN13:9780313365300. Release Date:November 2008.

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Alan said: From the end flap:. helps readers improve their understanding of the religious nature. While nearly half of Americans identify themselves with a fundamentalist brand of religion, and a sizable minority has rejected religion altogether, there is a vast middle ground. This book is aimed at that huge group of people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. In other words, people who are open to encountering the divine and the transcendent, and in While nearly half of Americans identify themselves with a fundamentalist brand of religion, and a sizable minority has rejected religion altogether, there is a vast middle ground

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This book is aimed at that huge group of people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. In other words, people who are open to encountering the divine and the transcendent, and indeed actively seek these experiences. The authors help readers improve their understanding of the religious nature of the psyche, the origins of myths and religions in the collective unconscious, and the ways in which organized religion has often worked to infantilize its followers  . McGehee and Thomas offer that third way. Show more.

While nearly half of Americans identify themselves with a fundamentalist brand of religion, and a sizable minority has rejected religion altogether, there is a vast middle ground. This book is aimed at that huge group of people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. In other words, people who are open to encountering the divine and the transcendent, and indeed actively seek these experiences. The authors help readers improve their understanding of the religious nature of the psyche, the origins of myths and religions in the collective unconscious, and the ways in which organized religion has often worked to infantilize its followers. They leave the reader with an empowered ability to claim his or her own spiritual authority and lead a more abundant, authentic life.

Many of those who have left organized religion have done so because it has hurt them in some way or because it failed to address their needs, yet they maintain a strong yearning to reconnect with the divine and transcendent level of human existence. As religious fundamentalism continues to influence so much of our national discourse, and as atheistic books rank high on bestseller lists, the time has never been more crucial for a book to address a third way between fundamentalism and atheism - a way that encourages readers to connect with their true religious nature, while at the same time maintaining their intellectual integrity and claiming their own authority. McGehee and Thomas offer that third way.

Reviews: 7
Zeleence
Before I continue with this less-than-positive review, I probably should offer a little history so the reader can be aware of any bias on my part.

In my twenties my therapist tried to initiate a sexual relationship with me. When I resisted his advances, he became furious and lashed out at me. They say Hell hath no wrath like a woman scorned, but when a man's fragile ego is bruised because his advances are rejected, men can be pretty vicious too. It was a nightmare.

I was strong enough to leave but I felt emotionally violated and abandoned plus I had been with him for months and since I paid a lot of money for that mistreatment, I also felt robbed. Thus, I don't see psychologists like Jung as the good guys waging war against the bad guys (fundamentalists) as the author seems to.

However, I can certainly relate to the author's objections about some fundamentalists and the damage they do. I bounced around for a long time trying this church and that church naively believing that if the church said it was a Christian Church, it would distribute the grace I experienced in Sunday School as a child.

Let's see, there was the prosperity movement. That was a hoot. Then there was the praise the Lord so everyone can see how happy Christians are and get saved. There were the guilt provoking sermons about whether or not people could see Jesus in me. Had I witnessed? Did I smile and look happy so people would want what I had? Of course not! I was dying inside at the time! Was I a soul winner for Jesus? Then there was the church where the whole congregation was praying for God to give the minister a Mercedes so people could see how God blesses his people and get saved. That too was a nightmare.

But eventually a pastor in a very conservative fundamentalist Church (who also happened to be a recovering alcoholic) got me involved in Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings. That's when my inner work began. That's actually when my life began. That fundamentalist will always be a hero to me.

Point being, every profession, religion and every denomination has the good, the mediocre and the horrible.

Another example? One of my girlfriends had a psychologist who tried to convince her to remove her clothing while he watched. It was a "trust" exercise. She came to me a bit puzzled that her psychologist would ask her to consider that. She didn't know if she should or not? After all, he was only encouraging her to strip down to her bra and underwear and she revealed that much skin in a bathing suit at the beach didn't she? She wasn't a naive teenager and suspected the more she demonstrated her trust for him, the more clothing he would eventually ask her to remove. I knew of him through a mutual acquaintance who knew him socially. They assured me he was a practicing alcoholic.

I'm happy to say I was instrumental in connecting her with an ethical psychology teacher I was taking a class from at the time so the rug was not pulled completely out from under her feet like it was mine.

I can still see that psychology teacher jumping up out of his chair, his eyes flashing when he heard what that psychologist was prescribing for her. He told me to have my friend call him and then walked her through breaking the bond with her old therapist and continued treating her.

She simply told her psychologist she was discontinuing therapy at which point he told her she would never survive psychologically. She would be like a surgery patient left on the operating table in the middle of surgery. He didn't know she had a very ethical psychologist waiting in the wings to reassure her she would be just fine and immediately provide competent treatment.

That psychology teacher will always be a hero to me. It's as if he jumped on his white horse, rode off and rescued my friend preventing her from going through the hell I went through. He not only helped her, he helped restore my faith in mankind.

We all need heros. I get the impression that Mr. McGehee considers Jung a hero, and that's fine if that works for him. Yet it's an undisputed fact that Jung carried on a sexual relationship with a young woman in his care for quite a while. So Jung is not now and never will be a hero to me. In fact I understand that Sigmund Freud helped her through that crisis (and not at Jung's request) so maybe I have an easier time seeing Freud as heroic than Jung.

There is some very good stuff in this book, but I personally winced every time the author used the phrase "the Jesus myth" because I have a much easier time believing Jesus was a real man (not just a myth) than I do nearly deifying Jung. I hate the self-righteous, judgemental arritudes of some fundamentalists, but I cherish the fundamental beliefs the Christian faith is founded on.

I'm sorry some fundamentalists have branded Mr. McGehee a heretic. I don't feel any one should ever be branded a heretic even if we no longer stone, crucify, or burn people at the stake. But even though I'm pretty liberal, I can assure you that Jungian new age mythology is not the rock I want my church built on, but that's just me, and I've already admitted I could be biased.

I gave this book three stars because the author was

1) so very right about the need for inner work YAY!
2) right about the fact that the kingdom of God is within .. YES!
3) and he is right to warn people about some of the legalistic fundamentalists.

But I don't believe the writing is very accessible to the average person (who is not familiar with Jungian jargon), even if they would not experience the same knee jerk reaction I did (about Jung).
Diredefender
Engaging and interesting view of spirituality and meaning - making in a time when brick and mortar churches seem less relevant. I found this book thought provoking.
Jugore
The book is a gem for any seeker who is disappointed with organized religion. Being familiar with the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung is a big plus in reading this book. The author (Pittman) identifies himself as a liberal shaman of the Christian tribe, since Pittman is an Episcopal clergy and a Jungian analyst. Pittman goes after the sorry state of organized religion (which he coins as the American Religion) and its desire to trivialize things, keep its followers unconscious and infantile in their thinking, and suppresses those who want to stand out, like Jesus did, and be themselves. The author discusses the negative effects of Puritanism and Fundamentalism and challenges the readers to become individuated (a Jungian term that basically means being psychologically developed and authentic). Pittman reminds the reader the emphasis Jung put of the looking at sacred religious stories and symbols as they relate to the underlying myths (a myth being something that is not true on the outside but is true on the inside). The author invites the readers to become conscious and look at the sacred stories and symbols in a manner that ignites an authentic passion for believers in the twenty first century.
I attended a workshop that Pittman gave in Richmond in September 2010. I even had a chance to sit and have a simple lunch with him. I was honest with him about being a pantheist in my spiritual views. In truth I had violently vomited the Christian belief I was raised with, many years ago. Reading Pittman's book made me find many common points with the author, who stressed several times in the book that being individuated and authentic comes with a high price. I can say that Pittman is the first Christian author (OK, he is liberal by his own admission) who opened the door for any kind of healing from organized religion that has insulted my intellect and scared me with its fear and guilt tactics. The author affirmed my dignity as a seeker and affirmed the sacred path I follow by being open to what all kinds of gifts that myths bring.
During his visit in Richmond, the author mentioned his monthly trips to give talks all over the country, and the discomfort associated from the airport hassles. These hassles are tempting him to stop traveling, but he is not sure what to do. I would ask the author "What would Jesus do?", or much better yet (borrowing from the author's own book) "What would (the fully individuated) Pittman do?"
I highly recommend this book for readers who want to salvage their "organized religion" beliefs and are willing to encounter the spark of the divine that dwells within! Finally I want to thank the authors (sorry that I only focused on Pittman as the author in my review) for an open and honest book that brings many blessings.
Kulwes
I just finished reading this book. It's pricey, but, for me, worth it. The Kindle edition wasn't available when I purchased the book on the recommendation of a friend. If you are like me and have not found a fit in organized religion, yet are drawn to the search for something "more," then this book might also be for you. The author take the best from Christianity and other monotheistic practices, combine them with a bit of eastern philosophy, mythology, and Jungian psychology to arrive at the conclusion that a spiritual journey has to be a mix of the following things: Nature, creativity, ritual, love, the body, and suffering. Being closely in touch with all of these things frees us to connect, make, feel, understand and transcend. I give it a hearty thumbs up, five out of five stars, for anyone on the path or wants to be on "some" path, but hasn't found one with road signs that make sense.
Cezel
I enjoyed the author's perspective and take on spirituality.
Garr
Thought producing book; we're using it for a book study.
Lbe
Excellent book and just what I was looking for to give some guidance in seeking spirituality outside of traditional religion. Highly recommend it.
It was most interesting to me to read of some of the ideas about the church today. Well Written. I recommend it.