Spiritual Autobiographies – Between Philosophical and Spiritual Counselling
Keywords:mystical vocation, spiritual diary, depression, philosophy and spirituality, Russia, Catholic Church
Spiritual autobiographies have represented and still represent an important genre in the theological, literary, historical and philosophical areas. For this reason, they must be discovered and valorised by contemporary research. In the present investigation, we will try to see how they can be used in philosophical and spiritual counselling and to emphasize the elements of complementarity which define them. At the same time, we will see how, through their testimonial dimension, this category of works manages to provide answers to the contemporary challenges faced by a potential reader, being used in processes such as self- disclosure, and to cover many potential social categories of readers (from priests and clergyman to young people, workers or the classic faithful, whether they have cultural interests or not). Examples from different confessional backgrounds, such as the Catholics Teresa of Avilla and Thomas Merton, the Orthodox John of Kronstadt and Silouane from Mount Athos or the Lutheran Dag Hammarskjöld, will be provided in order to enhance a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the phenomenon and to see its practical outcomes.