Practice These Principles
Living the Spiritual Disciplines and Virtues in 12-Step Recovery

Big Book Q&A  


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Roman Numerals    Chapters 1–11    Personal Stories: 4th Edition    Personal Stories: ES&H


Appendix I: Spiritual Experience

1. P568

  1. L18-19: The “contempt prior to investigation” quote at the end of “Appendix II, Spiritual Experience,” is attributed to Herbert Spencer. Who else is this passage often attributed to? – William Paley, 18th century British theologian

Appendix II: The Medical View on AA

1. P569

  1. L1-49: Appendix III, “The Medical View on AA,” includes excerpts from five men of medicine. One of them was very close to AA, serving as Bill W.’s psychiatrist and member of the AA Board of Trustees. Who was this man? – Harry Tiebout

Appendix V: The Religious View on A.A.

1. P572

  1. L3: “Edward Dowling, S.J., of the Queen’s Work Staff . . .” Father Ed met Bill W. at AA’s first clubhouse at 331 ½ West 24th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC and went on to develop a very close relationship with him. What was this relationship? – He became Bill’s sponsor
  2. With what other member of the clergy did Bill have a similar relationship? – With Sam Shoemaker, Oxford Group leader and pastor of Calvary Episcopal Church in the Gramercy section of NYC
  3. What do the initials “S.J.” stand for? – Society of Jesus, meaning Father Ed was a Jesuit priest
  4. A fellow Jesuit later wrote a book based on the correspondence between Father Ed and Bill. What is the name of this book? – The Soul of Sponsorship, by Robert Fitzgerald, S.J.