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Document Details :
Title: The Birthpangs of a Discipline?
Subtitle: Notes on Kees Waaijman's Spirituality. Forms, Foundations, Methods
Author(s): VAN GEEST, P. , FREEMAN, G.P.
Volume: 65 Issue: 3 Date: 2004-07-01
The Birthpangs of a discipline? is a lengthy review of the recent standard work on spirituality by K. Waaijman, Spirituality. Forms, Foundations, Methods (Dutch edition 2000; English translation 2002). After an outline of the book, the authors present some comments. The most important points are the following four. (1) The forms of spirituality are divided in three classes: lay spirituality, the spirituality of the schools and counter-movements. The authors praise this division, but have some doubts about the way it is used. (2) Waaijman doesn’t always indicate where his own voice is heard and where he quotes people from other times or persuasions. This tends to alineate the reader from the text. (3) Waaijman tries to keep theology at a distance from spirituality. (4) His definition of spirituality mentions a certain reciprocity between God and man. That is unusual in the three monotheistic religions. Doesn’t, furthermore, the word ‘God’ exclude people who look for a non- or post-theistic spirituality? These criticisms notwithstanding, the authors conclude that Waaijman has laid a solid foundation for the scientific study of spirituality.