Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyA collection of essays written by scholars who are attempting to catalogue and elucidate something called "secular" spirituality, this volume presents spirituality in general as "an attribute of the way one experiences the world and lives one's life" that may or may not be validated by religious varieties of spirituality. The authors examine this tradition in terms of its sources in ancient Greece and Rome, in Asian and Near Eastern traditions, as well as in the European Enlightenment, British Romanticism and in the American Pragmatist School of Philosophy. Under such headings as New Age Spirituality, Holistic Health Practices, Psychotherapies, Twelve-Step Programs, Feminist Spirituality, Gay Spirituality, The Struggle for Social Justice, etc., the authors give us invaluable insight into the spiritual qualities of many very secular movements. In addition, they inquire into scientific spirituality as well as cultural spirituality, the latter being found in the arts, sports and game playing. The book names as spiritual that which most would dismiss as merely political, therapeutic, scientific or entertaining. That these secular arenas contain implicitly spiritual dimensions affirming the interconnectedness of life is a welcome acknowledgement. (July) FYI: This volume is also being published as Volume 22 of Crossroad/Herder's An Encyclopedia History of the Religious Quest Series.
Library JournalIn this marvelous addition to the series, editor Van Ness (philosophy of religion, Union Theological Seminary) orchestrates a chorus of voices that explore the great variety of secular paths that seekers often traverse in search of the sacred. After a section examining historical periods and movements, a number of writers show how practices as diverse as 12-step programs and computer games often act as avenues to the sacred in the late 20th century. Lucid prose and thoughtful religious reflections make this volume essential for all libraries.
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