*NEW FACULTY RELEASE* Uncovering Spiritual Narratives

Suzanne M. Coyle, associate professor of pastoral theology and marriage and family therapy, has a new book on spirituality and narrative:


Uncovering Spiritual Narratives:
Using Story in Pastoral Care and Ministry
by Suzanne M. Coyle

Fortress Press, 2014

From the back of the book:

Using narrative therapy as a caregiving approach can help individuals uncover multilayered narratives that are complex and liberating. In Uncovering Spiritual Narratives, Suzanne Coyle contends that not only are these more complex narratives more helpful in giving our lives meaning, they also critique the cultural discourses in which they arose. Drawing on both theological approaches and real life experiences, Coyle creates a contextual pastoral theology that helps caregivers find the power of God in people’s stories.

“Suzanne M. Coyle demonstrates how spiritual stories – individual and collective – create meanings and possibilities that lead to liberating action. Using qualitative research and contextual pedagogy, Coyle correlates narrative ministry with liberation theology to suggest that caregivers are ‘storytellers of hope.’ She places power, hope, and Spirit at the center of ministry and care. The book extends and enriches the ways that narrative therapy and narrative community work can benefit ministries of care and counseling, and Coyle’s emphasis on collective narrative practice – a recent intervention for communal trauma – brings a sophisticated new approach to pastoral theological theory and practice.” Duane Bidwell, Claremont School of Theology

“I have been looking for a book that theologically explores how the theoretical convictions and key practices of narrative therapy – as well as the community work inspired by this approach  – can invigorate not only pastoral care but the whole of pastoral ministry. In this accessible volume, Suzanne Coyle has taken up this task, weaving together liberation theology, narrative therapy, collective narrative practice, and examples from actual ministry practice in her approach to fostering life-giving and hopeful spiritual narratives.” Kathleen D. Billman, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

“For Suzanne Coyle, personal stories are best connected to the narratives of larger collectives within society, where they encounter depth, breadth, critique, and liberative power. Her focus on contextual narrative resources is a much-needed addition to the conversation regarding narrative therapy and the potentially healing function of ‘story’ in religious leadership.” John S. McClure, Vanderbilt Divinity School

“Written in highly accessible language, Uncovering Spiritual Narratives breaks fresh new ground in the field of narrative approaches to pastoral care and congregational ministry.” Susanne Johnson, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University


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