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Monday, January 13, 2014

Spirituality does not replace religion's role today

For today's issue of Real Clear Religion Thomas Moore writes "Your Own Personal Religion" based on his new book, A Religion of One's Own. When asked about community, Moore's response includes:

"I foresee a deeper kind of communal sense developing hand in hand with more intense personal involvement. Since the less significant trappings of institutional religion are no longer in the way, we can have a keen feeling for the planet and the beings that exist on it. Community now can be hugely inclusive: other types of belief, other ethnicities, animals, vegetative forms and even manufactured things will be part of it."

Moore also writes that there is value in traditional religions:
"Still a Catholic in my own mind, I have three outstanding rabbis I can contact for counsel at any time. I am friendly with several sisters and priests who have been on the frontier of this new religiousness for years. My buddy in teaching spirituality and making it accessible is a Baptist minister, who is a master of the old theology and yet far ahead in re-forming religion for the future. These admirable people are variously close to or remote from the official old-style churches. Once you leave spiritual regimentation behind, you discover multiple ways of being genuinely and solidly religious."
He concludes, "The habit of preferring 'spirituality' over 'religion' is also passing. It's time to be more open, firm and courageous in countering the soulless, ego-centered philosophies of the modern era and embrace a new sacred. It's time not to abandon religion but to re-imagine it."