Friday, February 03, 2006

Spirituality in America

Leigh Schmidt has written a very interesting essay called "Spirituality in America" in The Wilson Quarterly. The article is adapted from his book Restless Souls : The Making of American Spirituality. It looks like required reading for anyone interested in understanding the state of "spirituality" in America. Among other things Schmidt analyzes the spirituality of Barack Obama and Oprah and argues that there really is more depth there than critics say. I have taught Christian spirituality for twenty five years at two theological seminaries, and find Schmidt's analysis of "liberal spirituality" helpful. This kind of material will also help those interested in American politics since we will see, in the coming elections, a democratic "return" to religion in the form of the kind of spirituality Schmidt describes.