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

By Gary Bouma

ISBN-10: 0521673895

ISBN-13: 9780521673891

Australian Soul demanding situations the concept that non secular and non secular lifestyles in Australia is in decline. This attention-grabbing booklet describes the nature of spiritual and non secular existence in Australia this present day, and argues that, faraway from really fizzling out, faith and spirituality are thriving. Gary Bouma, the top professional at the country of spiritual lifestyles in Australia, presents the main updated evidence and figures and compares the 'tone' of Australian spiritual practices with these of alternative international locations. Australians may be much less vocal and extra reticent approximately their faith than americans are, yet their non secular and religious ideals are not any much less powerful. Australian Soul describes and analyses our non secular and religious lifestyles 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 important destiny for faith and spirituality.

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Extra info for Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the 21st Century

Sample text

The religious and spiritual is not primarily about meaning but is a set of activities that promotes hope, if only by getting the person moving. The focus on religion as meaning (Parsons 1951: 367–368; Yinger 1970; Berger 1967) reflects the high modern society within which that definition was struck, and in the current Australian context, the use of such a focus would blind the sociologist who seeks the religious and spiritual in Australian life to much of what is going on. Spirituality and the sacred To be sacred is to be special, precious, protected, shielded, other than ordinary.

I was raised among Dutch immigrants in the Midwest of the USA, did my postgraduate studies on the East Coast, then emigrated to Canada where I lived and taught through the 1970s. Since coming to Australia, I have researched and/or lived in New Zealand, England, France, China and Italy. These immersions in other societies, in addition to the use of comparative surveys and census data, provide the experiential dimension for comparative analysis. Not only have I been experientially grounded in my comparative understanding of religion and society but also I have been a religious professional in several Christian denominations.

Groups induct people into spiritual beliefs and practices, groups nurture commitment, groups define what is acceptable in the realm of the religious or spiritual. In addition, religion is organised. Religions offer established patterns of ways of approaching the beyond, the numinous and the powers of life, the gods or god. Spirituality is more free-form and flexible, at least at the outset. But here again, what the individual expects from the spiritual is shaped by the sociocultural context. Like any other human activity, anything spiritual done more than once and by a group quickly becomes socially organised and hence religious.

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


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