Friday, June 16, 2006

Postmodern Spirituality?

"Any premodern spirituality that does not come to terms with both modernity and postmodernity has no chance of survival in today's world."

The quote above is from Ken Wilber's essay From the Great Chain of Being to Postmodernism in Three Easy Steps. If Wilber is, in this instance, using "spirituality" to mean "religion," I disagree with him. It seems to me that premodern religion divorced from modern and postmodern understandings is not only surviving but flourishing and will probably continue to do so indefinitely. However, speaking for myself, I cannot embrace the teachings and practices of any premodern religion cut off from modern and postmodern understandings of self, culture and nature stemming from such varied disciplines as the physical, biological, psychological, and social sciences, linguistics, philosophy, and theology.

Yet, many who claim to agree with this also continue to call themselves Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or whatever and to adhere faithfully to the teachings and practices of those premodern traditions. I don't know how they do it, and, until I do, I can't do it myself.

But then, what SHOULD I do?


Anonymous said...

Has humanity really changed? Do gadgets, and fads, and transient answers to universal questions really drive reality?Christianity does not ask you to check your brain at the door, it asks you to put your faith in the work of a risen Christ and His Father God.
Our faith does not preclude our engaging the modern world...
Seek God and He will make Himself available to you!

Nagarjuna said...

"Has humanity really changed?" I think that perhaps it has. I think that perhaps more and more people are rising to higher and higher levels of consciouness and understanding of themselves and their universe. Consequently, they may find scriptural revelations and religious dogma concerning the nature of God, the world, and human nature to be less and less compelling and either give up on religion entirely or seek some kind of "postmodern" alternative that jibes with their overall worldview.


Anonymous said...

I think that humanity is sinking to less and less higher levels of consciousness, and as a result are moving further away from God. Your Mr. Wilber is a good example of this, even 20 years ago he would have been no one's model for a spiritual guru, today however, people are so confused about right and wrong, good and evil that a man like him can present vile , angry commentary one day and blame his readers for thier evil hearts when they recieve his message just as he meant it the next day.
God doesn't change Steve, the Spirit of God is unchanging and eternal reach for Him and He will be found...