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The Soul of Discernment

A Spiritual Practice for Communities and Institutions

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Westminster John Knox Press
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The Soul of Discernment provides concrete steps for groups of people who work together and need to make important decisions: church leadership teams; local, regional, and national church committees; interfaith and community-based outreach programs; mission groups and volunteer programs; nonprofit hiring committees, and many more.

Liebert calls this process the Social Discernment Cycle, a process for seeking God's call in a particular situation. "It is called 'social' because it deals primarily with human communities in their social-structural, rather than interpersonal aspects," Liebert explains. "It is a cycle because one completed round of discernment prepares for the next. The Social Discernment Cycle is particularly apt for any discernment that involves a structure, system, or institution."

This book helps groups work through this cycle to answer the question, "How is God leading us, individually or together, to act in this particular moment in our organization?"

Elizabeth Liebert is Professor of Spiritual Life at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. She is former Dean of the Seminary and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She is the author of The Way of Discernment, a guide to decision-making for individuals.

The Soul of Discer...
A Spiritual Practi...
by Westminster John Knox Press
The Way of Discern...
Spiritual Practice...
by Westminster John Knox Press
Elizabeth Liebert
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"The analysis of spiritual discernment has largely focused on individuals. Yet most contemporary leaders must involve teams when wrestling with strategic decisions affecting complex systems. Soul of Discernment is a lucid and spiritually mature correction to this deficiency. It provides wise guidelines to system level leaders wishing to integrate spiritual wisdom and grace with contemporary organizational decisions."
— Andre L. Delbecq, J. Thomas and Kathleen L. McCarthy University Professor, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

"A wonderful combination of rich theological reflection and acute social analysis makes the social discernment cycle a tool for spirit guided action at both personal and community levels. I found particularly helpful the many practical examples and exercises that flow from the author's rich experiences of guiding individuals and groups in discernment."
—Peter J. Henriot, S.J., Director of Development, Loyola Jesuit Secondary School, Lilongwe, Malawi

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