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I am particularly interested in answering questions about the stages of spiritual growth, faith development, religious stages. The term spiritual growth or spiritual development can have many different interpretations. In some cases, it refers to the ability to have para-normal or mystical experiences. Others use it to describe the ability to communicate with beings that are not present here on earth with us at this time, such as dead people or our own prior lifetimes. This is not where my knowledge and expertise lie. The type of spiritual growth questions I can address concern here and now issues about religious belief versus non-belief, the stages of religious development and spiritual development where spirituality is defined as living deeper than the surface things of life, knowing there is more to life than the latest new car, questioning the deeper meanings of our existence.
For at least the past twenty years I have been a serious student of the various spiritual development theorists.
The concept of spiritual growth occurring in stages throughout our lifetime is a vitally important factor that, if more widely known, could help decrease a lot of the religious intolerance and societal tensions we are putting up with today.
My book of stories about real people growing beyond the need for traditional religion was published by Quest Books in October, 2012: Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind.
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation(and many others unrelated to this topic.)
www.mpjauthor.com Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind.(Quest Books, October, 2012.) http://www.exploring-spiritual-development.com http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-placentra-johnston/
Four college degrees, including an undergraduate degree from the Catholic University of America where required theology and philosophy courses formed the equivalent of a college minor.
Awards and Honors
GOLD WINNER of the 2013 Nautilus Book Award in Religion/Spirituality.