The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination

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In the contemporary age, which is characterized by the phenomenon of globalization and an interconnected global-political economy, communication and interaction among previously disparate cultures and civilizations is becoming increasingly more common.

The results of encounters between various modern cultures have the potential to create a world of bonded nations—fostered by positive trade relations and open borders—or a world divided by ideology. In the contemporary world, characterized by an increasing interconnectedness among all human civilizations, it is vital to understand the phenomenon of globalization, what it means to live in a global culture, and what our roles are as transnational citizens of the world.

As the abilities of our advancing human population increase to allow for a greater sense of connection between individual human civilizations—aided by technology, such as communication technologies mass media and computerization and transportation technologies [1] —conflicts between the preservation of, and respect for, the particularities of individual cultures and the encroachment of outside values have become a significant part of our changing world.


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Though some theorists take opinionated stances encouraging the positive effects of a globalized world society—a hyperglobalist approach [2] —and others take the opposing side, vilifying it for its detrimental effects on the uniqueness of human civilizations—a theorist of the cultural imperialism perspective would take this approach, potentially [3] —the fact of the matter is that it is occurring and we are faced with the responsibility to understand what our role is in this new globalized society.

The establishment of place has been the defining element of Mormonism throughout its creation, development, struggles, and successes. The birth of Mormonism within the American landscape emerged with the aid of the right prophet—Joseph Smith—and with the right theological foundation and backstory to attract the attentions of those disenfranchised with the available religions of the time [1].

Introduction In the contemporary age, which is characterized by the phenomenon of globalization and an interconnected global-political economy, communication and interaction among previously disparate cultures and civilizations is becoming increasingly more common. While hardly representative of main street America, the unique religiosity and history of Cambridge makes it an appropriate setting for Courtney Bender's entrance into the ongoing discussions about the secularization of American society and the related distinction between spirituality and religion.

The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination profiles the new generation of Metaphysicals in Cambridge and, in keeping with Bender's previous work, examines their Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.

From Religious to Spiritual - and Back Again | America Magazine

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Volume By Courtney Bender. But SBNR and Nones may also soon be giving witness to the rise of new and restored communities of faith. All of this is well-known. But still, I was struck by the proximity to one another of three articles in the New York Times of July 18 and First, we read about the flight of the last Catholics from Mosul in Iraq , thus abandoning places of residence that reach back to very early Christianity — in flight because of a dire ultimatum from ISIS Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that conversion, flight, or oppression are the only choices.

The fanaticism of one religion seeking to destroy another. As God only knows, he was summoned to slaughter in the Holy Land, asked to end the killings of Muslims by Buddhist monks in Myanmar, and played both sides again in the 1,year-old dispute over the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad. In between, not much down time. Reason and force are useless against aspiring martyrs.

Courtney J. Bender *97

In the United States, God is on the currency. By brilliant design, though, he is not mentioned in the Constitution. The founders were explicit: This country would never formally align God with one political party, or allow someone to use religion to ignore civil laws.

At least that was the intent. In that case, who could object to less religious and more spiritual?

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But the books Oppenheimer mentions are more subtle than that; I recommend a close reading of his report and then, if possible, the books themselves. Here I touch just on several points, regarding two of the books. Her interviews suggest that the Nones are indeed theologically active, even when consistently resisting institutionalized ways of thinking and verbalizing spiritual truths. This new learning, I can add, may also end in the full embrace of another religion, after a briefer or longer spiritual quest.


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