395: Spiritual Mentors and Heroes

Most of us have someone special in our lives, or with whom we’ve become acquainted through reading or listening to, whose spiritual insights, wisdom, compassion, and ways of carrying themselves and meeting the world stand out for us. Some will truly be spiritual mentors for us, others more like heroes. But no matter if it is an intimate personal relationship or not, we are grateful for their influence and for the way they’ve helped us imagine a life and relationship with God or the universe, and shown us approaches to questions and difficulties, that we can aspire to find for (and within) ourselves.

In this Mormon Matters episode, host Dan Wotherspoon interviews three friends—Jana RiessBridget Smith, and Charles Randall Paul—about their mentor/hero. What is it about them that they most admire? How has this person’s influence shaped their own spiritual journey? What ways of being or insights did they share that most affects their own life and thought? What books or works of these people should podcast listeners find if they want to explore more about this person?

Please enjoy this wonderful discussion! Share your reflections, ideas, and questions in the comments section below!

Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writings (Orbis Books, 2015)
Phyllis Tickle: Evangelist of the Future (Paraclete Press, 2014)
“Emergence Christianity and Mormonism,” Mormon Matters (podcast episodes 123–124), August 29, 2012 (episode 123 features Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, and Jana Riess)
Phyllis Tickle, Emergence Christianity: What Is It? Where Is It Going? and Why It Matters
Phyllis Tickle,
The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why
Phyllis Tickle has many books on the Divine Hours (fixed prayer practice). Too many to list here. Please visit Amazon.com through the portal on this website to find them.
Jana Riess, Flunking Sainthood (blog)
Jana Riess, Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor (Paraclete Press, 2011)
“The Next Mormons,” Mormon Matters (podcast, episode 337), July 22, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Bennett Ramsey, Submitting to Freedom: The Religious Vision of William James (Oxford University Press)
William James, A Pluralistic Universe (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017) or choose another edition. There are several.
William James, Varieties of Religious Experience (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013) or choose another edition. There are several.
Dan Wotherspoon, “A Real Fight,” Sunstone, May 2004 (mentioned in the episode; second half of the essay deals with William James’s sense that we each have important things to contribute to the world)



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