Much attention has been given in recent writings about religion to fundamentalism and the 'religious right'. But less attention has been given to their opposite - the emergence of a new generation of progressive religious thinkers and organisations on the 'religious left'. The New Spirituality is one of the first books to give a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of this burgeoning progressive religious movement. It offers a clear and engaging account of the cultural roots, key ideas and organisational structures of this new faith, assessing its significance in the changing moral and religious landscape of contemporary western society. Gordon Lynch argues that we are witnessing the rise of a new religious ideology which reveres the natural world, connects religious faith with novel scientific theories, and has a forward-looking agenda for the transformation of religion and society. Well-grounded in older cultural and religious movements in the west, progressive spirituality has the potential to change the shape of western religion, creating new religious identities, rituals and institutions in the process. But the author shows that the fate of this movement may yet hang in the balance, and explains why there are several reasons it may not fulfil its potential. Produced by one of Britain's leading writers on the changing patterns of modern religion, The New Spirituality will be essential reading for students attempting to understand the shape of religious belief in the twenty-first century. The book will also provide new insights for readers who are themselves interested in finding out more about what it means to develop a progressive faith in today's fast-changing world.
An Introduction to Progressive Belief in the Twenty-first Century