Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-4718-5 • Hardback • February 2015 • $131.00 • (£101.00)
978-1-4422-4719-2 • Paperback • February 2015 • $48.00 • (£37.00)
978-1-4422-4720-8 • eBook • February 2015 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
Edward Foley is Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and the founding director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is a Capuchin-Franciscan and ordained Roman Catholic priest. An award winning author, he has produced more than twenty books, translated into multiple languages including From Age to Age and Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals with Herbert Anderson. A well-known speaker, he has taught in venues such as the University of Chicago and Notre Dame, presented in settings as diverse as the Mayo Clinic and the Houston Astro Dome, and lectured in over 60 Roman Catholic dioceses from India to the Philippines. He preaches and presides at Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago.
Chapter One: Believing from the Outside-In
Chapter Two: The Power of Language
Chapter Three: Goal Setting for Reflective Believing
Chapter Four: Believing with Head, Hands, and Heart
Chapter Five: Some Assembly Required
Epilogue: Gifts for the Journey
Appendix 1A: Thomas Groome
Appendix 1B: Holland and Henriot
Appendix 1C: Killen and de Beer
Appendix 1D: Whiteheads
Appendix 1E: Zaker
Appendix 2: Tribute to Michael
Learning from the various groups of people he met and interviewed, Foley has uncovered a common search for meaning in life and in life-projects that is not confined to one system of belief. The topic developed here, the method employed in the search for understanding, and the conclusions reached will be of interest to and benefit for various audiences. The first group includes the pastoral ministers for whom this project was originally intended. It will call them to appreciate their own manner of reflective thinking, as well as that of those with whom and for whom they minister. Related to this group are schools or programs of ministry formation. Both those responsible for the formation and those being trained will profit from the praxis approach demonstrated as well as the variety of suggestions for reflection offered throughout the book. This project has demonstrated that reflective believing is an activity of life not limited to religious thinkers. Therefore, any reflective believer, religious or not, will be enriched by the insights found here.
— New Theology Review
The practical examples could serve as excellent discussion starters. This is above all a book to spark thinking among teachers and ministry practitioners. . . .It is also a book to spark further work in an intriguing field that Foley has only begun to map.
— The Anglican Theological Review
How might U.S. American practical theologians respond to the shifting religious landscape of the classrooms in which we study and teach, as well as in the civil society to which we belong? Bringing to bear on this question a breadth of wisdom gained from experience as a seminary professor and a Catholic priest, Edward Foley presents a worthy proposal for what he describes as reflective believing….Whether one is a beginning student of practical theology or a seasoned professional in the field, this text will serve as a key resource in considering how to engage with the increasingly pluralistic reality of teaching and ministering in the U.S. American context. Offering a clarion call for creative and constructive engagement with the shifting religious landscapes that characterize our classrooms and sites for ministry, Foley’s text provides an important first step, a point of entry into a much-needed conversation in the field of practical theology.
— International Journal of Practical Theology
In this succinct, absorbing, and imaginative book, Foley persuades self-exploring, other-sensitive, and Spirit-directed Christians to turn from the practice of theological reflection to the promise of reflective believing. Recognizing a radical shift in the Western historical context, F. urges us to risk leaving an older, more secure worldview, which is characterized by religious uniformity, predicable order, and linear progression, and expectantly embrace the contemporary one, which is steeped in religious pluralism, liquidity, and ‘rhizomatic’ thinking…. [T]his is a book recommended for both theologians and reflective Christians in the West.
— Theological Studies
In this book, Foley renegotiates and reshapes the practice of theological reflection into an approach he calls ‘reflective believing.’… The most valuable aspects of Foley’s discussion are his emphases on the improvisational nature of reflective believing and his attention to ‘interpathy,’ or empathic concern for the other.
— Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology
In this wonderful little book, Edward Foley draws from his vast pastoral experience and theological wisdom to offer people of all faiths and no faith a way to talk together about the meaning of their lives. Foley writes with the style of an artist and a poet to entertain us, to inspire us, to challenge us. This is a book for students and for practitioners, but teachers and scholars will profit from its warmth, humor, and depth.
— Stephen Bevans
Theological Reflection across Religious Traditions is a marvelous work, the wisdom of a master educator and close observer of how we learn, in life and religiously. Foley understands education and knows intimately the array of styles that constitute theological reflection in seminaries and schools, parishes and on the street. He is not deterred by the enormity of the opportunities and challenges facing us in today's interreligious world. Indeed, Foley enables us to imagine how we can better make our way, in faith and learning, as teachers and learners in that world.
— Francis X. Clooney, SJ, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University
Internationally recognized practical theologian and liturgist, Edward Foley provides an invaluable resource for learning the practice of reflective believing, a crucial capacity for those who seek to lead and live alongside neighbors of diverse religious traditions.
How do we talk to each other, across religious traditions, in a way that is meaningful and respectful and build communities committed the common good of all peoples? Drawing on the tradition of theological reflection, Foley transforms this method into a deeply engaging practice he calls reflective believing, a crucial capacity for leaders and adherents of churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples.
An excellent resource for ministers and people who are grappling with how to live authentically within their tradition and remain open and hospitable to those in theistic and non-theistic traditions. Foley transforms the well-known method of theological reflection and moves us beyond interfaith dialogue and interfaith theological reflection to a new practice: reflective believing.
— Kathleen A. Cahalan, professor, Saint John’s University School of Theology Seminary; author, "Introducing the Practice of Ministry"
Edward Foley has written a "savory stew" full of imaginative metaphors and multiple methods of faith sharing and collaborative conversation that support a more inclusive way of theological reflection he calls "reflective believing." Foley invites us to "watch our language in the presence of the other" to insure that all views are heard and welcomed with appreciative respect and "holy envy." The book itself is a "hospitable portal" through which readers with varying beliefs may enter confident that their spiritual and religious particularities will be respected.
— Herbert Anderson, professor emeritus of Pastoral Theology, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
This exciting work challenges and equips pastoral workers to think and feel more deeply about the unavoidably interreligious character of ministry today. While honoring differences between religions, and between the affiliated and unaffiliated, Foley creatively invites theologically-minded persons to find an ever-wider way to account for how they live and serve.
— Tom Beaudoin, Fordham University
The combination of practical wisdom, theological creativity, and theoretical sophistication that Foley brings to bear on the increasingly important issue of how one conducts theological reflection in an interfaith context is as singular as it is remarkable.
— Scott C. Alexander, Catholic Theological Union
In a truly useful book, particularly for field educators and students, Edward Foley takes readers inside the experience of reflective believing—his creative term for a new approach to theological reflection designed not just for Christians but for the “hyper-pluralism” of contemporary believing. Readers also benefit from his wise inclusion of other forms of knowing essential to theology, such as storytelling, silence, bodily engagement, and ritual.
— Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Provides a context for theological reflection across faith traditions without diminishing any individual tradition
Acknowledges the increasing number of “nones”—people who profess no faith tradition
Introduces readers to the basics of theological reflection, as well as the key thinkers and concepts in the field
Reimagines theological reflection from a Christian-centered practice to one employable in interfaith and humanist contexts through the practice of “reflective believing”
Filled with practical stories, examples, sidebars, and illustrations to help readers bridge the gap between theory and practice