Religious History

Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st by Gary Bouma

By Gary Bouma

Australian Soul demanding situations the concept spiritual and religious existence in Australia is in decline. This interesting booklet describes the nature of non secular and non secular existence in Australia at the present time, and argues that, faraway from really fizzling out, faith and spirituality are thriving. Gary Bouma, the top specialist at the country of non secular lifestyles in Australia, offers the main up to date evidence and figures and compares the 'tone' of Australian spiritual practices with these of different international locations. Australians could be much less vocal and extra reticent approximately their faith than american citizens are, yet their non secular and religious ideals aren't any much less powerful. Australian Soul describes and analyses our spiritual and non secular existence intimately in addition to delivering a chain of case reports that illustrate the diversity of practices and ideology in Australia at the present time. Australian Soul predicts an essential destiny for faith and spirituality.

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At the core of spirituality is the encounter with the other, some other, be it God, nature, a tree, the sea, some other person or the core of our own being. This otherness is often experienced as being other than material, not limited to the constraints of material being – time, place, space, or life and death. People report that such an encounter affirms the reality of the person, the other, and a larger frame of being both uniting and defining each (Hay & Morisey 1978). Encounters may also be confronting.

Late modern Western attempts within liberal Christian theology, such as those produced by Paul Tillich and Rudolph Bultmann, to depersonalise the symbols used to refer to the ultimate failed to win the hearts of people. The gods of the philosophers provide cold comfort in the face of despair, and reason alone is an inadequate basis for hope. Where religious and spiritual symbolism personalise the ultimate, the beyond, God becomes a social actor, an agent in human affairs through the representations regarding God’s nature, preferences and degree of activity in human affairs.

For sea witches, connecting with the water and the wild ocean waves is an integral part of their spiritual practice. Whether they go surfing or fishing, they are connecting with deities who demand great respect, as the ocean can take life in an instant. Paganism, one of the fastest growing religions in Australia, is a religion that venerates nature. Pagans and witches, or Wiccans as they are known, pay homage to the phases of the moon, the changing seasons and the turning of the tides; they also work to protect the natural environment and honour the interconnections between themselves and the whole cosmos.

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