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Spiritualities of Life

296 pages
This insightful and provocative journey through spiritual landscapes explores the ways in which spiritualities of life have been experienced and understood in Western society, and argues that today’s myriad forms of holistic spirituality are helping us to find balance in face of the stifling demands of twenty-first century living.

  • An enlightening book which explores the ways in which spirituality has been experienced and valued in Western society
  • Traces the development of modern spirituality, from the origins of Romanticism in the eighteenth century, through to the counter-cultural sixties and on to the wellbeing culture of today
  • Explores the belief that modern spirituality is merely an extension of capitalism in which people consume spirituality without giving anything back
  • Contends that much of the wide range of popular mind-body-spirit practices are really an ethically charged force for the ‘good life’, helping us to find balance in the demands of twenty-first century living
  • Written by an acknowledged world-leader working in the field
  • Completes a trilogy of books including The Spiritual Revolution (2005, with Linda Woodhead) and The New Age Movement (1996), charting the rise and influence of spirituality today.
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Part I Portraying Spiritualities of Life 1 From the Romantics: The Repertoire 2 Wellbeing Spirituality Today
Part II The ‘Consuming Growth’ Debate 3 The Debate 4 The Language of Consumption and Consumeristic Aspects of MindBodySpiritualities of Life 5 The Sacred and the Profane: Spiritual Direction or Consumer Preference? 6 The Matter of Personal Significance: Profaned Superficiality? 7 Work: Consumptive or Productive?
Part III To Work Beyond the Consuming Self 8 A ‘Fag Ending’ of the Sacred or Fit for the Future? 9 Inside Out
Epilogue: Birthright Spirituality Beyond the West
23 25 60
79 81
137 151
165 167 195
Appendix: Evidence Indicative of Inner Life ‘Beliefs’ Notes References Name Index Subject Index: Some Main Themes and Arguments
233 236 255 276 283