God Within: Our Spiritual Future-As Told by Today's New Adults

Overview

Our Faith, In Our Words

What does it mean to be young and spiritual today—when the New Age isn’t exactly new, when female rabbis and ministers are no longer unusual, and when Eastern religion’s ideas and practices are no longer considered exotic? Who are the faces behind today’s fresh approaches to faith, approaches that are destined to shape the future of spiritual life in America?

"Religion is not a crutch for the weak-minded. It is merely spirituality in its simplest, most ...

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God Within: Our Spiritual Future--As Told by Today's New Adults

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Overview

Our Faith, In Our Words

What does it mean to be young and spiritual today—when the New Age isn’t exactly new, when female rabbis and ministers are no longer unusual, and when Eastern religion’s ideas and practices are no longer considered exotic? Who are the faces behind today’s fresh approaches to faith, approaches that are destined to shape the future of spiritual life in America?

"Religion is not a crutch for the weak-minded. It is merely spirituality in its simplest, most rudimentary form. We have witnessed the hypocrisy, the moral and spiritual mediocrity of succumbing to tradition for tradition’s sake. In an age when there are books on everything for dummies, my generation has opted to find out for themselves. I am a new adult, with decisions to make about my identity and my future. I am not about to surrender this newfound privilege. I am content with discovering my spiritual self through my own avenues. I am not in need of a crossing guard."
—from God Within

God Withinrepresents citizens of the twenty-first century who are faced with a dizzying array of spiritualities: believer, seeker, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Wiccan, to name just a very few. The result of a nationwide challenge extended to young adults born after 1974, in this book they share their experiences with all of these beliefs—some confident, some questioning—and introduce us to many shades in between.

Sometimes irreverent—but more importantly, always relevant—this thought-provoking collection of writings, poetry, and art showcases the voices that are defining the future of religion, faith, and belief as we know it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publisher
"What kept me interested in Christianity was something very basic: the idea that God lowered himself and became a man so that we could relate to him better.... Christians...spent their time talking to a God who knew what it was like to get hungry, to go swimming, to be tempted."
contributor and frequent contributor to Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Christian Century Leah Taylor, Marketing Assistant Jewish Lights Publishing/SkyLight Paths Publishing
Jodi Werner
"At my Bat Mitzvah I read from a photocopy of a haftorah. I was not allowed to hold the Torah with my own hands, and I was not shown that the Torah was my book of guidance as a Jew. The absence of these gestures spoke volumes about the double-edged sword a girl is entrusted with when she becomes a woman...when I was given the rites of passage, it did not feel as through I had received full and equal rights."
Sumi Loundon
"My father was reluctant to express his own belief system because he wanted to let my feet find the path best for me intuitively. The downside of this liberal religious education was that rather than choosing one religion I made a pastiche of practices. I had, to some extent, a case of spiritual indigestion."
contributor and editor of Blue Jean Buddha
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781893361157
  • Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: SkyLight Lives Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

SkyLight Paths is the publisher of many award-winning personal growth books for people of all faith traditions—and none.

Jon M. Sweeney is an author and editor recognized for his ability to communicate religious ideas and history in uncomplicated language. He is also the author of The St. Francis Prayer Book and editor of The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis, a Literary Guild, Crossings, and History Book Club selection. He was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Skylight Paths Publishing for several years before joining Paraclete Press as associate publisher. He lives in Vermont with his wife and their two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Let me be frank: I am scared.... As I open myself to the light of Allah, what flaws will it reveal, what corrections will it require? Heroes and prophets have come and gone; the poor are still with us, and they are more ragged than ever. Can I face the immensity of this injustice, call it my responsibility, and taste the rust of my own powerlessness in the face of it?"-Eboo Patel, contributor and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core
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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Love and Strategy 1
2 Simply Complicated 5
3 Two Stars 17
4 Nestled in the Lap of the Goddess 21
Oil on Canvas (Untitled), by Gwyneth Tripp 32
5 Spirituality vs. Religion, or Why the Atheist Crossed the Road 35
Oil on Canvas (Untitled), by Gwyneth Tripp 48
6 A Spiritual Orphan 51
7 An Unauthorized Autobiography 61
Drawing ("At Ease with the Buddha"), by Sumi Loundon 80
8 Jesus H. Christ, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Church 83
9 Oy, Estherla 95
10 Letting Our Spirits Free 109
Drawing ("Cat Sit"), by Sumi Loundon 120
11 Moving from Judaism toward Christ, and the Christians Who Tried to Stop Me 123
12 The Journey to the Alligator Juniper 133
13 Living at the Crossroads 151
The Anti-Conclusion 155
About SkyLight Paths 157
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