Spiritus Contra Spiritum: Spirituality, Belief and Discipline in Alcoholics Anonymous

We’re delighted to announce a new publication.

Wendy Dossett’s chapter ‘Spiritus Contra Spiritum: Spirituality, Belief and Discipline in Alcoholics Anonymous.’ has been published in B. E. Schmidt & J. Leonardi (Eds.), Spirituality and Wellbeing: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Religious Experience and Health. Bristol: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

The chapter draws on the Higher Power Project findings to show that while members of Alcoholics Anonymous are highly eclectic in their use of sources of authority and inspiration, they do not conform to the styles of individualistic, commodified wellbeing spirituality found in wider culture. Rather, their commitments are disciplined and strongly counter-cultural.

The volume itself explores the interface of spirituality and wellbeing in a whole range of settings, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Afro-Brazilian and the paranormal.  It also includes another chapter on Alcoholics Anonymous by  Dr Lymarie Rodriguez-Morales, entitled ‘To Thine Own Self Be True: Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery and Care of the Self,’ in which Rodriguez-Morales explores the experiences of young men in recovery in Twelve Step fellowships. Several of the chapters in the volume, including Dossett’s and Rodriguez-Morales’, began as papers at a conference of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre at the University of Trinity St David, Lampeter, Wales UK  in 2017, chaired by Director of the Centre, Professor Bettina Schmidt.