For the last two months I have been very focused on completing my latest book, ‘Living Deeply’. It is always exciting, and a relief, to complete a book, and I will be celebrating.
Some years ago my colleagues in the University of Cambridge Psychology and Religion Research Group produced the ‘Beta Course’. It was a psychologically oriented introduction to Christianity, with a focus on ‘Being Christian, Becoming Whole and Building Community’. We tried to bring psychology and Christianity together to help people with personal growth and pastoral care.
Recently we have been completely revising the Beta Course under the title, ‘Living Deeply’. (“Beta course’ is a title that has been used by others, and anyway we wanted a title that was more explicit and descriptive). We did the Beta course through the University of Cambridge. Now I am retired we have done Living Deeply through the Cambridge Institute for Applied Psychology and Religion, with a grant from the Mulberry Trust, to whom I am enormously grateful.
The Beta course was film-based, but issued on videotapes, which is now an obsolete technology. There were also some things that we wanted to improve. Living Deeply will also be film-based, and will be issued shortly as a series of 36 film clips, available for free computer download. I wrote the scripts, Savage and Roger Bretherton were the presenters, and Nick Devenish made the films.
We also decided to do a book of Living Deeply, which is what I have been working on. It is a book of 60,000 words, to be published by Lutterworth Press, one of Britain’s oldest publishing houses, dating back to the eighteenth century, now based in Cambridge. About a third of book is the text of the film clips, but I have been able to expand and broaden that material considerably.
Living Deeply is in three modules, or sections. The first is about personal issues such as stress, depression, loss, illness and suffering etc. Next is a more relational and social section, with an emphasis on forgiveness. The third section is more explicitly religious, starting from a chapter on the intuition that there is something more and ending with a chapter on ‘God Beyond Words’.
It is my most accessible book so far and I hope that, together with the film clips, it will reach more people than my other books.