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Beyond The Face

Looking for the Soul in a Portrait

Stephen Girling

978 1 915412 69 0 |June 2024
Paperback |160 pp |216 x 135 mm
Price: £14.99

‘I found the approach of this book to be transformational in my own spiritual journey, it provides a simple framework which can be applied across many contexts to build connections with unfamiliar people and a deeper appreciation of what it means to be fully human.’

Dr Anne Moseley, Faculty member, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

Brilliantly explores how portraits can help us relate to other people in an intentional and expectant way

* Written in an accessible manner, this is a book that will deepen our empathy for friends and strangers

* Uses a three-step method of noticing, responding, and reflecting to help us recognise ourselves and others in portraits

* ‘I found the approach of this book to be transformational in my own spiritual journey' ~ Dr Anne Moseley, Faculty member, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies

Our lives are made up of a complex web of relationships with those we initially get to know through their face. The quality of these relationships influences what we believe and value, and how we think and behave.

Focussing on the human face, Stephen Girling explores how portraits can help us relate to other people in a new way. Outlining a three-step method of noticing, responding, and reflecting, he gives the reader a tool with which we can go beyond the face in a portrait to see ‘something of the eternal’ in the other person. With this tool we are able both to see ourselves more completely and better relate to people who we previously never noticed, kept at a distance, or actively disliked.

With society becoming ever more polarised and fragmented, this is a timely book that will deepen our empathy for friends and strangers, guiding us towards a kinder and more generous way of living.

Stephen Girling was ordained as a parish priest in the Church of England in 1991, after a short career as a scientist with the Ministry of Defence. He has a long-standing interest in Christian spirituality and the artistic vision of Vincent van Gogh. As Missioner and Priest at Bath Abbey he curates exhibitions of the Abbey’s own collections and visiting art exhibitions and installations. He is a trained and practising spiritual director. Stephen is married with four children and lives in Bath.
ISBNs: 9781915412690 978-1-915412-69-0 Title: beyond the face