Spirituality: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | November 14, 2012

byPhilip Sheldrake

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It has been suggested that "spirituality" has become a word that "can define an era". Why? Because paradoxically, alongside a decline in traditional religious affiliations, the growing interest in spirituality and the use of the word in a variety of contexts is a striking aspect ofcontemporary western cultures. Indeed, spirituality is sometimes contrasted attractively with religion, although this is problematic and implies that religion is essentially dogma, moralism, institutions, buildings, and hierarchies. The notion of spirituality expresses the fact that many people are driven by goals that concern more than material satisfaction. Broadly, it refers to the deepest values and sense of meaning by which people seek to live. Sometimes these values are conventionally religious. Sometimes they areassociated with what is understood as "the sacred" in a broader sense - that is, of ultimate rather than merely instrumental importance. This Very Short Introduction, written by one of the most eminent scholars and writers on spirituality, explores the historical foundations of the thought andconsiders how it came to have the significance it is developing today.

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It has been suggested that "spirituality" has become a word that "can define an era". Why? Because paradoxically, alongside a decline in traditional religious affiliations, the growing interest in spirituality and the use of the word in a variety of contexts is a striking aspect ofcontemporary western cultures. Indeed, spirituality is...

Professor Philip Sheldrake is currently the Joseph Visiting Professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College, Massachusetts. He is also Honorary Professor at University of Wales Lampeter and Moulsdale Fellow of St Chad's College Durham University. Philip Sheldrake co-founded and directed (1984-94) the Institute of Spirituality...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pagesPublished:November 14, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199588759

ISBN - 13:9780199588756

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Types and traditions2. Spirituality as experience3. Spirituality as way of life4. Spirituality in society5. Spirituality versus religion?Conclusion