© 2016

Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership

Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature

  • Editors
  • Scott T. Allison
  • Craig T. Kocher
  • George R. Goethals

Part of the Jepson Studies in Leadership book series (JSL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Scott T. Allison, Craig T. Kocher, George R. Goethals
      Pages 1-13
  3. Historical Exemplars of Spiritual Leadership

  4. Contemporary Approaches to Spiritual Leadership

  5. Afterword

    1. E. Bruce Heilman
      Pages 235-238
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 239-249

About this book


Abraham Lincoln's iconic phrase, 'the better angels of our nature', revealed his belief that the noblest qualities of humanity would heal a divided nation. In Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership, an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars from the University of Richmond explore these noble qualities and how leaders such as Lincoln make that expression possible. They review the landscape of spiritual leadership and the spiritual principles that are fundamental to effective and inspired leadership, emphasizing the values of love, forgiveness, purpose, trust, sacrifice, equality, and liberty, among others.

Through an analysis of historical examples and contemporary issues, this book celebrates the many gifted and enlightened individuals whose leadership embodies the most exquisite qualities of humanity. It outlines the conceptual linkage between leadership and spirituality within groups and organizations and will appeal to students and scholars of leadership, ethics, religion, philosophy, psychology, and human growth potential.


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About the authors

Scott T. Allison is Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond where he has published over 100 articles on prosocial behavior, leadership, and heroism. His books include Heroes, Heroic Leadership, Reel Heroes, and Conceptions of Leadership.

Craig T. Kocher is University Chaplain, Jessie Ball duPont Chair of the Chaplaincy, and Lecturer in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, USA. Previously he served as Assistant, Acting, and Associate Dean of the Chapel and Director of Religious Life at Duke University, USA.

George R. Goethals is the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. He has held academic and administrative appointments at Williams College, and visiting appointments at the University of Virginia, Princeton University, and Amherst College, among others.

Bibliographic information


"Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership breaks new ground by masterfully combining the topics of spirituality and leadership. Through historical and contemporary exemplars and social psychology, the authors create a contemporary understanding of what spiritual leadership is and why it is relevant to our modern world." -Crystal Park, Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut, USA, Co-Editor of the Handbook of the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

"Allison, Kocher, and Goethals have succeeded in gathering an all-star team of scholars representing diverse disciplinary perspectives to bring focus to spiritual leadership and its noble, life-giving qualities. Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership is an inspired volume that forges new ground and offers much-needed hope and direction at a critically important time." -Bryan Dik, Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University, USA, Co-Editor of Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace and Psychology of Religion and Workplace Spirituality

"Allison, Kocher, and Goethals' Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership is an original and truly interdisciplinary study of spiritual leadership and its impact on the lives of individuals and communities." -Michael Harvey, Professor of Business Management, Washington College, USA, Co-Editor of Leadership Studies: The Dialogue of Disciplines

"Allison, Kocher, and Goethals have blazed a new trail that promises to become a busy highway for those who seek to understand leadership." -John Chandler, President, 1973-1985, Williams College, USA
'Leaders are models and mentors, instilling in others the motivation to transcend their current states in order to take actions that would not otherwise occur. Such transcendence is the essence of spirituality and, as such, the understanding of leadership and spirituality are synergistic intellectual pursuits. However, no prior book has integrated these fundamental facets of human life. Creatively bringing together scholars from multiple disciplines, Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership: Discovering the Better Angels of Our Nature provides rich, unique, and singularly important discussions of the history, and contemporary significance, of transcendent leadership for enhancing personal thriving and social well-being.' -Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, USA

'The editors of Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership have creatively marshaled the University of Richmond's rich scholarly resources in history, religion, and social psychology to explore how varieties of religious sensibility have shaped and inspired the purposes of those in authority. Ranging from the earliest Christian era to the present, and assessing male and female examples of leadership, the collected essays offer an imaginative feast of investigation.' -Professor Richard Carwardine, President, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK