Monday, March 15, 2010

Embodied Spirituality

Re Barbara Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World I found an interesting snippet from a review Here when my search strategy was 'embodied spirituality' and her name.

One of her goals is to abolish the distinctions we make between church and world, sacred and secular, spirit and flesh, body and soul. Any place or thing can mediate the sacred, and so we can make an altar in the world as well as in the church......

From these sources and her own experiences Taylor commends twelve spiritual practices, but to call them "spiritual" can be misleading, for most of all she commends a fleshly, embodied spirituality. She writes one chapter each on vision, reverence, incarnation, groundedness, wilderness, community, vocation, sabbath, physical labor, breakthrough, prayer, and benediction. Taylor's book raised a cluster of interesting questions for me.

I chose that search strategy because of getting a similar feel in the Cornel West reader. Am half way through that book. I am captivated by occasional snippets like this

"..always viewing oneself as embedded and embodied and also indebted to those who came before.."

"In short, a deep blues sensibility that highlights concrete existence, history, struggle, lived experience and joy."

The above is instructive to me because too often I'm like the people for whom Randy Olson wrote Don't Be Such a Scientist. Living in the cold, remote, dull and abstract.


2 comments:

Jeff said...

Great stuff, Steve. I'm currently working my way through "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything" by James Martin. Very similar ideas of embodied spirituality - the idea of "finding God in everything"...

Steve said...

That sounds intriguing, Jeff. I'd like to learn more about it. Will probably continue to explore this line of thinking.

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