Finding Jesus, Discovering Self

Passages to Healing and Wholeness

Caren Goldman and William Dols

Jan/2006, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819221995



Download free study guide here.

As we meet Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel narratives, we come face to face with our own deepest selves. Finding Jesus, Discovering Self, invites readers to see Jesus with new eyes and then explore, know, experience, and live questions about how 2000 year old stories and events happen in the world and in our lives today. 

Each chapter focuses upon a passage from the Gospels. A narrative by one of the authors recalls a personal experience reflecting the ancient text. Questions to which there are no "right" answers offer multi-dimensional opportunities to explore the stories and wonder.

Contemporary poetry and prose open new doors to meeting Jesus as a first century Jew and discovering creative, compelling, and challenging possibilities for one's own story, self, and relationship to God.

Written by a Jewish author and an Episcopal priest, Finding Jesus, Discovering Self is a perfect volume for personal reflection or group study.



William Dols, an Episcopal priest, has his PhD in Biblical studies and psychology from Graduate Theological Union and University of California Berkeley. He is the author of Just Because It Didn't Happen: Sermons and Prayers As Story, creator and editor of the Bible Workbench, an acclaimed preacher, and a popular retreat and seminar leader. He lives in Virginia.

Caren Goldman is an award-winning author, retreat leader, consultant, and journalist who specializes in writing about spirituality, psychology, health, religion, and the arts and humanities. Her most recent book from Morehouse Publishing, Across the Threshold, Into the Questions: Discovering Jesus, Finding Self was cowritten with her husband, Ted Voorhees, an Episcopal priest and also a professional writer and retreat leader. They live in Florida and North Carolina..

"This is a book that gives the reader permission to stop longer than a moment, to imagine treasures buried around us and within us, to explore intriguing thoughts that once flew by, and to gain a breathless perspective for living a full life." -The Rt. Rev. William E. Swing, Episcopal Bishop of California
Finding Jesus, Discovering Self is a deep well of refreshing water for the seeker, the believer, the preacher and the person in the pew. The stories, reflections, and questions offered by Caren Goldman and Bill Dols engage the mind, body, spirit and soul. I am certain that I will return to this oasis for nourishment and challenge on a regular basis and I encourage others to do the same. I can only begin to imagine what kind of church might emerge out of this creative approach to the Jesus story. - The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Author of Interrupted by God: Glimpses from the Edge Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio
"If you read this book once, as you should, it will find a permanent place on your bookshelf. To say the least it is a religious treasure trove, filled with memorable quotations that go deep, literature that opens up the gospel texts which anchor the volume. But most compelling are the courageous personal reflections from both authors, exemplary models of spiritual autobiography at its best, honest and probing exploration of issues raised by the texts that all who read (especially those in mid-life or beyond) will recognize as ‘our own.'" -The Rev. Earl K. Holt III, Minister, King's Chapel, Boston
"Goldman and Dols offer more than a sensitive understanding of the Jew from Nazareth; they offer a courageous, poetic, and profound understanding of humanity's brokenness and isolation, and our potentials for healing and wholeness." -Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion
"Dabble or Plunge...a slim book but also a deep pool. Some readers will warm to this book immediately, dive in and take a long swim. Others will want to dip in just a toe at first and come back later to read much more."-The Columbus Dispatch, March 10, 2006
"The book could be especially useful as a focus for group discussion in adult church classes, on a group retreat, or as a special text for an individual to explore and use during Advent or Lent." -The Living Church, September 10, 2006
"It is his conviction, and that of his collaborator, that we ordinary readers share their tested capacity for finding fresh personal -- in their word, experiential -- meaning in biblical tales, parables and paradoxes. This is far indeed from your usual pablum; it is powerful nourishment for lives of integrity, faith and work in our own day." - Edwin M. Yoder Jr., Pulitzer Prizewinning writer and editor; author of ‘Telling Others What to Think: Recollections of a Pundit.'
"With personal revelations, Goldman and Dols generously invite the reader to enter the Jesus story as an avenue of self discovery. With provocative questions, imaginative exercises, and carefully selected quotations they lead the reader ever more deeply into the mystery of human existence. Goldman and Dols have crafted a fresh approach to the Jesus story, one that will appeal to spiritual seekers who have learned that truth cannot be equated with facts. Finding Jesus, Discovering Self would be a great study course for a group of open-minded people interested in making sense out of the life of Jesus and out of their own lives."- James Rowe Adams Author: From Literal to Literary, the Essential Reference Book for Biblical Metaphors.
"Goldman and Dols are spiritual alchemists who have turned dusty, tired messages into gold. This volume will help anyone re-grow their spiritual roots and emerge stronger, more fulfilled, and more connected with the divine. Their message crosses all religious boundaries. In a world seething with fundamentalist hatred, nothing could be more important." -Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine and Healing Words.
"Using the story of Jesus as an archetype, Finding Jesus, Discovering Self is an invitation to self-exploration that integrates personal stories, psychological and spiritual insights, poetry and literature. A rich resource for individual readers and groups-for any who seek to understand their own life-journey more fully and deeply." -Marcus Borg, author of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time and The Heart of Christianity
"A stunning and perceptive book!" -John Shelby Spong, author of The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love
"William Dols and Caren Goldman offer us space, warmth, and nourishment. The authors highlight key stories in the life of Jesus by drawing upon their own candid autobiographies, skillfully posed questions linked with imaginative exercises, and artfully chosen readings." --Robert Owens Scott, Director Trinity Institute & Founding Editor Spirituality And Health magazine
"Finding Jesus, Discovering Self allows me as a Jewish reader to learn from the life of a great spiritual leader who has been historically off-limits to Jews." -Rabbi Bruce Bromberg Seltzer, Chaplain, Smith College; Religious Advisor, Amherst College; and Director, Smith/Amherst Hillel
"William Dols and Caren Goldman give diverse communities of faith a remarkable new way of encountering the Jesus of the scriptures. An invaluable resource to those of us working in multi-faith contexts." -Jennifer L. Walters, Dean of Religious Life, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
"Drawing on the insights of humanism and depth psychology, the authors give us the tools we need to explore the archetypal meanings of sacred scripture and to find and embrace the questions that can change our lives." -Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, author of Holy Hunger and Christ's Passion, Our Passions
"Finding Jesus, Discovering Self offers a remarkably rich, authentic, and inspiring way to work (and walk) with the stories of Jesus. Its combining of the gospel narratives with fearless inquiry, strong confessional voices, and resonant amplifications from poetry, literature, and film speaks to the heart and demonstrates the breadth of the Holy Spirit." -E. H. Rick Jarow, Associate Professor of Religion, Vassar College
"Walks you through the biblical story and helps you to see your own likeness in it. Whether you're trying to find your voice, licking your wounds, or just trying to make the next decision about how to live your life, this is the book to help you live into that likeness." -Ana Hernandez, author of The Sacred Art of Chant
"Blend together the Wisdom of Jesus, the psychological insights of Carl Jung, the integration of Elizabeth Boyden Howes, and the lively experience of the authors and the results are the book in your hands." -John Beverley Butcher, author of The Tao of Jesus, and Telling the Untold Stories
"Not only worthwhile reading for our time, but an inspiration for those who choose to walk the path of spiritual awakening and risk living into the questions of Jesus." -Carolyn Craft, Executive Director of WISDOM Radio and host of WISDOM Radio's "Inner WISDOM"
"An ideal companion: clear, compassionate, celebratory, and unique." -Nina Frost, president of The Vocare Group and author of Soul Mapping
"Profound in its psychological and spiritual insight and full of compelling human stories, this book offers a wealth of reflections and penetrating questions to last a lifetime." -Rev. D. Andrew Kille, PhD, director of Interfaith Space and author of Psychological Biblical Criticism
"An autobiographical exegesis that is capable of transforming those who participate in it. I could scarcely put it down." -Dr. Walter Wink, Professor of Biblical Interpretation, Auburn Theological Seminary
"Imagine an original approach to the quest for the figure of Jesus that invites its readers to enter the quest not only to seek Jesus but to discover themselves in a process that brings together the eternal and the experiential. Combining their gifts and graces, Caren Goldman and Bill Dols do just that. Every page of this remarkable study discloses new resources for continuing this journey."-William R. Herzog II, Sallie Knowles Crozer Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, New York
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