3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Towards a Householder Spirituality,
This review is from: The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for Meaning and Fulfillment (Paperback)
The world is in deep crisis, torn apart by suffering and violence. We are also in deep spiritual crisis, and the two are related. More of us than ever before are seeking meaning in our lives, beyond the materialistic and Western consumerist culture. We need individual spiritual healing and wholeness.
But this excellent book is about much more than why and how we seek spiritual meaning and fulfilment for ourselves in our own personal lives. It is a call to seek and find and practise spirituality beyond the personal, to infuse everything that we do with that spirituality, an idea that is very close to my own heart as readers of my own book Healing this Wounded Earth: with Compassion, Spirit and the Power of Hope, will know. Here King tells us why we need a spiritual reorganization of world economics, politics, education, business and world governance, and that a truly holistic, integral spirituality must include both personal and social concerns, as we search for global justice, peace, non-violence and a more sustainable world.
This book fills a gap in market, although more are following hard on its heels. Too many spirituality books, as the author points out, cover spirituality from a narrow perspective, from perhaps the viewpoint of one faith, or solely for the spiritual growth of the individual, or from one particular historical or contemporary perspective.
This book covers spirituality as it affects global concerns, in the widest possible context. Because of this huge scope King apologises that it cannot be comprehensive, or in-depth; but rather her hope is that it will help the readers make informed choices for their own spiritual flourishing and also for their communities and networks.
Nevertheless I found the chapters very wide ranging in their scope, well written, and hugely informative, covering issues such as Searching for Spirituality, Spirituality in a Global World, Spirituality and Interfaith Dialogue, Spirituality within Life's Dance (of birth, childhood, aging, death and dying), and Spirituality in the context of education, health, gender, nature and science, the arts and the planet.
King envisages what she calls a "householder spirituality... a spirituality of living in the world," which she says would be more socially involved, more ethically engaged and is most needed today, as compared with the other model, of ascetic or monastic spirituality. She tells us that such spirituality should reflect in a "personal and social transformation in all spheres of life," and not be an end in itself but the means to transforming the world that we all share as well as ourselves. The earth is in spiritual agony, and a strong spiritual focus for radical change is urgently needed.
A very important section deals in detail with the need for us all to speak with and listen to one another - to learn from our many religious, cultural, sexual, and political differences. We all need each other urgently - so that we can share the multiple resources available and use them for the common good and not for violation and destruction.
From such interfaith dialogue she sees the hopeful signs of the world moving towards a new interfaith spirituality. "The spiritual probing of religious pluralism and the drinking from each others' spiritual wells may be today's great spiritual event, full of significance for human well-being, and for the future of humanity on earth."
She writes at some length on what we know about child spirituality particularly from the work of David Hay and Rebecca Nye.
The concluding chapter details some positive initiatives that give much hope for the future although there is clearly a very long way to go. We have a global responsibility, and spirituality has to reverberate throughout the secular culture if we are to develop a more spirit-centred world. How will we do this? We need global spiritual awakening, she tells us, on a much greater global scale than now. And we need more ideas. This all calls for more spiritual education at all levels, giving a deeper dimension of insight and wisdom, which will come from the heart, and foster compassion and love.
This is a tremendous challenge for us all - but if we carefully read and take heed of this call for global spirituality then there is indeed hope for the future of the world.