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The New Spirituality by
Publication Date: 2007-06-15
Much attention has been given in recent writings about religion to fundamentalism and the 'religious right'. But much less attention has been given to their opposite - the emergence of a new generation of progressive religious thinkers and organisations on the 'religious left'. The New Spirituality is one of the first books to give a comprehensive and authoritative account of this burgeoning progressive religious movement. It offers a clear and engaging analysis of the cultural roots, key ideas and organisational structures of this new faith, assessing its significance in the changing moral and religious landscape of contemporary western society. Gordon Lynch argues that we are witnessing the rise of a new religious ideology which reveres the natural world, connects religious faith with novel scientific theories, and has a forward-looking agenda for society's transformation. Produced by one of Britain's leading writers on the changing patterns of modern religion, The New Spirituality will be essential reading for students attempting to understand the shape of religious belief in the twenty-first century.
Selling Spirituality by
Publication Date: 2004-03-01
From Feng Shui to holistic medicine, from aromatherapy candles to yoga weekends, spirituality is big business. It promises to soothe away the angst of modern living and to offer an antidote to shallow materialism. Selling Spiritualityis a short, sharp, attack on this fallacy. It shows how spirituality has in fact become a powerful commodity in the global marketplace - a cultural addiction that reflects orthodox politics, curbs self-expression and colonizes Eastern beliefs. Exposing how spirituality has today come to embody the privatization of religion in the modern West, Jeremy Carrette and Richard King reveal the people and brands who profit from this corporate hijack, and explore how spirituality can be reclaimed as a means of resistance to capitalism and its deceptions.
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
'Spirituality' is a word that is used increasingly these days yet it is often ill-defined. What exactly is spirituality? Is it distinct from religion and can we separate it from beliefs and traditions? Does spirituality mainly focus on spiritual experiences and practices or is it something more? This book suggests that, while there may be common features in the use of the word, 'spirituality' is not a single reality. Different 'spiritualities' reflect particular religious or philosophical viewpoints, as well as the cultural contexts in which they arise and develop. "Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed" provides students and general readers with a reliable and comprehensive guide to 'spirituality' as an area of study, religiously, historically, philosophically and in the social sciences. It explores the tools that are used to study the subject and to interpret spiritual classics (whether these are written texts or other forms such as art) from different times and cultures. Attention is paid to spirituality in a variety of religious and non-religious forms in their own terms and comparatively. However, for the sake of simplicity greatest attention is given to the study of spirituality within a religious perspective with illustrations drawn from texts, personalities and themes associated with five major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The book concludes with an exploration of spirituality in contemporary perspective - in particular how spirituality is currently employed in areas such as health-care, education and business among other examples.
Spirituality for the Skeptic by
Publication Date: 2002-05-16
Is it possible to be spiritual and yet not believe in the supernatural? Can a person be spiritual without belonging to a religious group or organization? In this book, philosopher Robert Solomon offers challenging answers to these questions as he explodes commonly held myths about what ismeans to be spiritual in today's pluralistic world. Based on Solomon's own struggles to reconcile philosophy with religion, Spirituality for the Skeptic offers a model of a vibrant, fulfilling spirituality that embraces the complexities of human existence and acknowledges the joys and tragedies of life. Solomon has forged an enlightened newpath that synthesizes spirituality with emotions, intellect, science, and common sense. His new paradigm, "naturalized" spirituality, establishes as its cornerstone the "thoughtful love of life"--a passionate concern for the here-and-now, and not the by-and-by. Being spiritual doesn't mean beingholed up as a recluse, spending hours in meditation and contemplation, Solomon argues. It demands involvement and emotional engagement with others in the struggle to find meaning in our lives. As such, this modern-day spirituality encompasses a passionate enthusiasm for the world, the transformationof self, cosmic trust and rationality, coming to terms with fate, and viewing life as a gift, all of which are explored in depth throughout this book. Spirituality for the Skeptic answers the need for a non-institutional, non-dogmatic spirituality that leads to personal fulfillment and satisfaction. By examining the ideas of great thinkers from Socrates and Nietzsche to Buddha to Kafka, Solomon arrives at a practical vision of spiritualitythat should appeal to many seekers looking to make sense of the human condition.
Becoming Human by
Publication Date: 2009-03-23
The Upper Palaeolithic era of Europe has left an abundance of evidence for symbolic activities, such as direct representations of animals and other features of the natural world, personal adornments, and elaborate burials, as well as other vestiges that are more abstract and cryptic. These behaviours are also exhibited by populations throughout the world, from the prehistoric period through to the present day. How can we interpret these activities? What do they tell us about the beliefs and priorities of the people who carried them out? How do these behaviours relate to ideologies, cosmology, and understanding of the world? What can they tell us about the emergence of ritual and religious thought? And how do the activities of humans in prehistoric Europe compare with those of their predecessors there and elsewhere? In this volume, fifteen internationally renowned scholars contribute essays that explore the relationship between symbolism, spirituality, and humanity in the prehistoric societies of Europe and traditional societies elsewhere. The volume is richly illustrated with 50 halftones and 24 colour plates.