|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: Rising Waters of the Spirit
Subtitle: The View from Secular Society
Author(s): TACEY, David
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 13 Date: 2003
The postmodern condition of secular society has some remarkable and even contradictory features. While continuing to profess a secular attitude, our society is nevertheless on the brink of a rise in spiritual interest. It seems we can repress religious form (traditional practice) but not religious feeling (spiritual longing). Religious feeling is innate in the human psyche, and repression only serves to intensify the longing of the spirit. The rift between ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ will continue for some time, but the present situation offers many opportunities for the reintegration of these divorced elements. To heal this rift, however, both sides of the divide have to be prepared to risk dialogue and conversation. Meanwhile, until religion can reclaim its spiritual core it readily falls prey to fundamentalist regression, as a desperate and reactionary attempt to bolster its position and strengthen its truth claims. Until popular spirituality can rediscover its historical memory and its lineage in religion, it tends to dissipate into vague, mystical and inchoate feelings, and becomes trapped in individualism and the pursuit of personal ecstasy. Spirituality and religion need each other but neither tends to want to admit this at the present moment in time.