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But when they crossed comments with the Church of Scientology things got very heavy Derek, C4, 10pm Meet The Izzards, BBC1, 9pm. Local Business. Meet Paramore and SpongeBob Squarepants Film Director. Meet Single Meet The Izzards. TV Show Meet a Scientologist. Religious. There the need is affirmed to meet '“the demands of the day”, in human relations . publicity and controversy surrounding the book and the film of The Da Vinci Code. for example Madonna with Kabbala, Tom Cruise with Scientology and so on. .. Izzard, S. (), 'Holding Contradictions Together: An Object Relational.
This online community, knit together by in-jokes and arcane etiquette — "like the masons with a sense of humour" — grew into its collective identity through the simple notion of treating 4chan's "anonymous" almost everyone posted anonymously as one person, and acting accordingly to cause disruption.
Their trolling was not initially terribly high-minded. They all joined the children's site HabboHotel and dressed their little avatars identically so they could mass them into swastikas on the deck of the virtual pool.
Their first good deed involved harassing a neo-Nazi called Hal Turner he picked on a 4Chan member. They also targeted the Church of Scientology, in some ways a cultural inversion of the loosely affiliated, open-sourced hacking community.
Scientology fought back, and in February Anonymous took to the streets for the first time, in cities across the world. They discovered they represented a far wider demographic than lonely nerds in basements, although there were plenty of those too. Anonymous famously deployed its collective muscle in the cause of WikiLeaks and the Arab spring, but since then affiliated groups such as Lulzsec have strayed into actions that some Anonymous members find either merely malicious or ethically dubious, launching an era one commentator characterised as "the rise of the chaotic actor", where people are driven largely by retaliation.
At least I'm not alone in not knowing what happens next. But it took the form of a literal travelogue, with Izzard painting the nails of Kalahari Bushmen and learning to fish in Djibouti. I don't usually mind dumbed-down TV science — sometimes I require it — but this programme seemed to want to avoid the subject of genetics altogether. I'm still not entirely sure what a genetic marker is, or how you find one, or what it was about Izzard's DNA that made him either remarkable or unremarkable.
They seemed to be keeping him in the dark too, only phoning him with instructions about where to go next and which of his not-very-near genetic cousins to meet. In one sense, secularisation has won. Organised religion has been weakened greatly. Yet, spirituality does not seem to have suffered the same fate. It has become the solace of soul survivors who journey outside organised religion. They find their own uses for spirituality and make their own destinies.
Thus, spirituality is increasingly treated as a force, a resource of self-empowerment and expressiveness, democratised and available to all. In the quest for health of body and soul, the holistic opportunities presented by spirituality are available for the self to appropriate and to find its own criteria of validation within.
Holistic spirituality offers the self the prospect of ultimate self-mastery through technique though, as in the case of Calvinism and capitalism, the prime casualty is again the ascetic. These notions of spirituality as an ultimate resource are by no means confined to the individual; they emerge also in institutions. Duties included developing service provision for and appraisal of the spiritual needs of service users, carers and staff.
The wording of the advertisement is significant. The term chaplain no longer appears, the implication being that the cure of all souls is no longer an exclusive preserve of the Established Church in England. There is an increasing realisation in the health services in the United Kingdom that staff who cure and heal, but who cannot utilise the services of Christian clergy, need to make their own provisions to cope with matters pertaining to spirituality.
Suffering, death, depression, healing and anxiety have inescapable spiritual dimensions and these emerge, especially in the practice of nursing. Reflection, meditation, well-being and the management of grief have become nursing skills where spirituality is mobilised as a coping mechanism both for the nurses and their patients Robinson et al.
This institutionalisation of spiritual provision illustrates the degree to which holistic spirituality is not just a matter of the self and the culture of individualism that facilitates its basis. Even though detached from religion, and indeed a replacement of it, spirituality in its corporate and institutional appropriations risks evolving into a virtual religion Flanagan These appropriations of spirituality from organised religions are not the result of some accident or some serendipitous outcome of secularity.
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These involve a define strategy of replacement of organised religion, Introduction 7 notably Christianity in the United Kingdom, particularly in sectors of education and health care. As Christianity continues to weaken in large parts of the United Kingdom, this has provided an opportunity to affirm non-sectarian and inclusive values. Spirituality is an important aspect of this strategy, for it can be sold as warding off the dangers of religionism but also filling the vacuum that emerges from the decline of religion Wright In the vacuum left by institutional religion, the need to develop alternative sources for spirituality in the classroom have become more self-evident.
Ironically, the one sector of education seemingly exempt from these concerns with spirituality is higher education. Academic theology, that might have given witness to the spiritual needs of the secular university, seems to have adjusted too well to the landscape to do so Flanagan Thirdly, as these new forms of spirituality emerge, issues have arisen over who owns these, by what authority do they operate and according to what criteria are they to be evaluated. These new forms place sociology in a novel situation of having to arbitrate on the forms through which spirituality is channelled.
In this trade, clients need enablers, those who can tap in and turn on spiritual powers. These diviners can sell bogus wares in a spiritual marketplace, entrapping the theologically witless and those seeking quick fix spiritual solutions for their restless souls.
In this regard, the privatisation of spirituality enables psychology to replace theology as the arbiter on practice and wholeness. It would come as a great surprise to many adherents of organised religions that their practices, beliefs and traditions yielded no spiritual fruit.
Holistic spirituality attracts many adherents who have been displaced by choice or circumstance from organised religions. In making their own destinies, their tales and testimonies inevitably attract more sociological attention than those who stay in ecclesial homes and seemingly have no need to quest alone.
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As in many other areas, spirituality too has its own politics. There are also other manifestos in town. Catholicism can still make claims for spirituality as life in the Holy Spirit and the channelling of Divine grace through sacraments and sacramentals.
It has its own schools of spiritual direction and formation, deep repositories of wisdom and many virtuosi worthy of emulation. Lives lived in spiritual edification seek to engage with God, not the self. Spiritual paths based on monastic life can be pursued in the routines 8 A Sociology of Spirituality of everyday life Taylor Other great world religions such as Buddhism, Islam and Judaism have matching tales and testimonies and stores of wealth and experience about how to pursue spiritual excellence.
Yet, despite this wealth of testimony and tradition, there is a feeling that paths to spiritual enlightenment have been colonised by academic disciplines. In chapter 1, Holmes displays the scale and width of academic interests in spirituality. Increasingly, to seek spiritual wisdom, one searches the shelves of Borders for guidance. Fourthly, for the past 40 years, there has been a fascination with the dark side of spirituality in horror films, such as The Omen and its successors.
In this regard, it might seem the devil had all the best films. Dracula sucked blood and stole spiritual identities with ghastly impunity to the delight of many teenagers. The Hollywood dream machine moved into the provision of nightmares for the credulous with haunted houses, grave stealing and every horror that would excite the spiritual imagination.
Somehow, the spirituality of the night had won over the forms of manifestation more fitted for the day. Set in ecclesial culture in the s, the neo-Gothic seemed to be a barrier to reaching into modernity.
Unfortunately, in treating the neo-Gothic as unfit to bear the light of belief, theologians passed it over to the entertainment industry that managed to see profits looming from the dark. What theologians cast as irrelevant, the carpetbaggers of culture found deeply relevant. These cultural forms of spiritual darkness might well be treated as innocuous, yet their emergence coincided with loss of a capacity in Catholicism to instil fear and trembling in its flock — theologians passed such a grim task over to the entertainment industry.
As postmodernity pointed to a void in the s, there was a sense of danger in the emptiness, an awaiting that came into focus as a matter of concern with the Millennium commemorations.
Another ghost emerged in the s that underlay the emergence of spirituality. Its appearance divided critics of society. At one level, religious fundamentalism offered a praiseworthy resistance to the vacuity of modernity, but at another level it posed a threat to its basis.
The zeal of Islam in matters of sexuality generated profound discomfort, as did the creationism of Evangelical groups who sought to impose their views in sectors of education. Somehow society seemed to be going back to go forward. The past shrouded in the ethos of spirituality keeps coming back unpredictably and frequently.
This is well illustrated in the publicity and controversy surrounding the book and the film of The Da Vinci Code. Selling over 40 million copies, as one writes in Maywith the film version looking likely to have an equally large cultural impact, the book attacks the truth of the Gospels in ways that have uniquely captured the public imagination. The significance of the book lies in the opportunity it offers each reader to believe that Christianity is a conspiracy not so much against reason as against history, that its God was no god, and that the lonely quest of those outside ecclesial cultures to find their own spirituality is justified.
That the book is a work of fiction is beside the point; it affirms what many are desperate to believe, that the clutches of Christianity grip no more. Perhaps there are some with wit who will go back to the Gospels or investigate Gnosticism on a website. Yet, whatever the outcome, the book slays a crucial facet of secularity: Christianity is showing plenty of Introduction 9 evidence of fighting back against a conspiracy of disbelief. Other forms of emergence of spirituality have attracted sociological interest for what they indicate about the state of culture and the movements of identity and identification within it.
In this regard, culture itself is taking some odd turns. Since the mids, spirituality has emerged as an American concern, notably in the works of Wade Clark Roof and Robert Wuthnow. But it is a spirituality cast in a particular form and derived from particular cultural circumstances. It is a specific brand of spirituality, one that reflects an uncoupling from institutional religion and builds on American traditions of self-improvement.
It embodies a pioneering spirit, combined with an expectation that spirituality should be meaningful, moving and expressive, notions derived from influences of Eastern religions and forms of mysticism.
Pragmatism and Protestantism underlie these new forms of spirituality, but any notion that these forms of spirituality are peculiarly American is undermined by the noteworthy study of Kendal, England, published after the conference upon which this collection is based. The Kendal Project asserted that holistic spirituality the shorthand for new forms, loosely connected to New Age religions is set to replace institutional religion Heelas and Woodhead They provide their own reflections on the study in Chapters 3 and 6.
But in looking at Census statistics, the state of religion in parts of the United Kingdom is rather contradictory.
For the first time sincethe census of England, Wales and Scotland collected information on religious affiliation and some contradictions were revealed in its findings.
In the overall table, on religion in England and Wales, 72 per cent But the other surprising figure related to New Age religions where only in England and Wales defined themselves accordingly.
Yet, without further research, one can only take these self-declarations at face value. These two sets of figures, one too high and the other too low, underline the importance of the Kendal study but also some of the criticisms made of its methodology and inferences in Chapter 2 by Voas and Bruce in this collection.
The miniscule numbers declaring themselves members of New Age religions are perplexing. There are reasons for thinking that New Age religions have peaked in interest. It is notable that Heelas, who pioneered much sociological work on New Age religions, downplays linkages with these in his treatment with Woodhead of holistic spirituality Heelas and Woodhead Is holistic spirituality an outcome of New Age religion or is it an entirely separate development, a particular response to present social circumstances?
If holistic spirituality has outgrown its New Age period of exuberance, how should sociology respond? Although the intention of the document is theological, it grasps an important point, that these new forms of spirituality express a cultural moment or tendency. The New Age is a child of contemporary culture but it also expresses an old heresy, one of the second and third centuries — Gnosticism. Alternative spiritualities are by no means new and have lineages that go back to the eighteenth century.
Many of the factors affecting present treatments of holistic spirituality can be traced back to the late s and early s, when a counterculture established an agenda in the USA that profoundly, if not fatefully, reshaped the main churches Oppenheimer It might be argued that capitulation to these insurrectionary forces destabilised organised religion, so that in seeking to modernise seemingly without apparent limit a condition of anomie emerged.
A symbolic violence was effected, and a process of internal secularisation commenced, unrecognised, but whose growth seems irresistible, all of which set expectations that spiritual endeavour did not need an ecclesiastical cradle for nurture and growth. Spiritual seeking could be undertaken unfettered by institutional constraints.
Given the uncertainty that descended on Catholicism after Vatican II, it is not surprising that many Catholics left to forge their spiritual destinies elsewhere and alone. In dealing with holistic spirituality, sociology faces a dual problem, of an endless diversity of forms of channelling and expression of a phenomenon that is also uniquely resistant to a common and acceptable definition.
Is sociology to treat this infinite aggregate of beliefs and practices as a religion, even though for many, it represents a form of emancipation from the constraints of one? Is holistic spirituality simply a response to cultural circumstances and is nothing more than a form of leisure or therapy devoid of deeper theological significance?
Even if holistic spirituality operates outside the ambit of religion, it still demands sociological scrutiny for the cultural needs it fulfils. If these new forms of spirituality reflect a restlessness of the self, deriving their mandate from individualism, is the social, in terms of capital and bonding, rather than religion, the prime casualty of such solitary expressiveness? Clearly, holistic spirituality, as with other forms, is incomplete without a wider ambit or setting to which it can be attached.
This is the endemic problem of spirituality: But if spirituality is contextualised, by what set of presuppositions is its significance to be read and understood? Whatever its good intentions, there are dysfunctional properties to the pursuit of holistic spirituality.
The quest for the spiritual located within, and strictly in reference to the interior, might mark an egoism that subtracts from the social. Similar worries over the effects of holistic spirituality on the social fabric have also emerged in Judaism Sacks In this regard it might seem that the present Pope and Durkheim have made an unexpected alliance over the status of the social and the state of the communal basis of religion in the face of competition from holistic spirituality.
Introduction 11 The trouble with spirituality is that its opacity admits too much but precludes too little. It can be attached to religion but it can also operate in detached forms.
The sacred is one property that compromises efforts to separate spirituality from religiousness Seidlitz et al. As long as the sacred hovers around matters of spirituality, then a potential for realisation will always be there.
This suggests that holistic spirituality might well be a refuge from organised religion, but that its aggregate always signifies a potential to be harnessed into one. The pitfalls spirituality presents, of its indefinite locations in culture, the individual, organised religion, and its potential to be about the ultimate or about the supernatural, or about God or gods, or none at all, should not preclude its study and sociological appreciation.
Spirituality is simply too important a topic in present culture to be left out of sociological account. Inspirituality was proposed as a theme for a future annual conference of the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group. The conference was held in at the University of Bristol. Papers were sought on spirituality in relation to the classical tradition, civics and education, conversion, emotion and healing, authority and ritual, relationships to other disciplines, and images and models of the afterlife.
The conference attracted over 70 delegates, with a significant number from overseas. Unfortunately, owing to limits of space, we have been only able to publish a selection of the 34 papers given. As a sociological venture into an unknown territory, the use of the indefinite article in the title of the collection suggests hesitancy over how to characterise an elusive phenomenon, such as spirituality.
Although the notion of spirituality is profoundly indefinite, there is an expectation that a sociological collection on the topic should have definite and identifiable properties. In seeking a sociological voice for the topic, the editors are all too aware of the plethora of literatures in adjacent areas, such as theology, religious studies, anthropology and psychology, to name a few.
At a time when a premium is placed on interdisciplinary work, it might seem perverse to work the issue of spirituality back into a specific discipline: The axis of the collection moves around the location of spirituality either as a phenomenon that operates outside organised religion, or within. This issue of contextualisation generates distinctive sociological issues regarding the cultural basis of the phenomenon, its ebb and flow, but also questions of channelling and authority.
Is spirituality something free floating and individualised, as in the case of holistic spirituality, or is it a property of organised religion, the site where it authoritatively belongs? A further question emerges. Is the rise of holistic spirituality due to a failure to spiritualise by organised religion and to that degree is an outcome of forces of secularisation? If there is a seeking and questing in culture, how is sociology to arbitrate on this process? The first half of the collection presents six essays that deal with spirituality on the outside of organised religion.
The second half casts spirituality in the direction of organised religion, notably Islam, Catholicism and more diffuse forms of Christianity. In the conclusion, the editors reflect on the openings spirituality offers to sociology for further research. It is a topic in the ascendant and its implications have many sociological ramifications. The contributors to the collection have made notable efforts to reflect on a new territory for sociology that is well worth mapping and exploration.
In Chapter 1, Holmes, drawing on an extensive bibliography, amply illustrates the interdisciplinary nature of spirituality. In his assessment of spirituality in seven disciplinary areas, the problem of its definition is raised early.
But Holmes raises an intriguing question as to whether spirituality is by definition something multi-disciplinary, or is some form of disciplinary specialisation required? In his assessment of how disciplines formulate concerns with spirituality, some seem better placed than others to deal with it.
As a topic, spirituality relates closely to psychology, medicine and health care and education but less clearly to sociology. In fact he suggests that sociology lags behind these. This tardiness in relation to the topic is itself a sociological question as to why sociology has been immune to movements in adjacent disciplines that have taken on board the implications of spirituality.
The Kendal study by Heelas and Woodhead of holistic spirituality can be treated as a new landmark in the sociology of religion in the United Kingdom. It was a detailed study of holistic spirituality and its practice in a town in the North West of England. The premises of the study rested on the recent subjective turn in culture, the rise of individualism and the growth of expressivism in a marketplace of practice.
The claim by Heelas and Woodhead that these new forms of spirituality are set to displace organised religion, notably in Christianity has aroused considerable debate.
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While acknowledging the significance of the study, Voas and Bruce offer criticisms of the assumptions of the Kendal study regarding the notion of spirituality used, how it is measured and what they conceive to be methodological flaws in the research. Their criticisms centre on the counting of holistic spiritual activities and on multiple attendances that inflate incidences of practice. They claim that self-interpretation and self-accounting conflate practices, that are really therapeutic or leisure activities, into notions of spiritually.
To confirm this point, they note that few of the activities listed in the Kendal Project are clearly spiritual and also that few relate to matters of the supernatural or the sacred.
In their interpretation, the transmission of holistic spirituality is in similar demographic terms of plight to organised religion and so they argue that the projections of Woodhead and Heelas regarding its replacement are misplaced. In short, they feel the importance of alternative forms of spirituality has been exaggerated. Whatever Introduction 13 the case, they suggest that the constituencies involved in holistic spirituality need to be explored further.
His detailed, careful and constructive response adds much to understanding a topic, holistic spirituality, whose sociological significance can only increase. He meets head on some of the points of criticism Voas and Bruce raise — the difficulties of comparing the holistic milieu with the congregational domain; of estimating the numbers in Kendal involved in these forms of spirituality; the methodological problems of multiple participants; and the issue of what constitutes the spiritual.
A prospect is offered of limitless realisation and many seek to accept what it offers. In his chapter, especially in its second half, Heelas defends the authenticity of holistic spirituality, the self-awareness of its practitioners, its relevance to youth, and above all the affirming and humanising ethos of a concern with the spirit. Holistic spirituality is defended as autonomous and separate from Christianity. A rather different view of the link between new forms of spirituality and Christianity emerges in Chapters 4 and 5.
In Chapter 4, Droogers, who directs the programme, provides an overview of its research as undertaken by postgraduates. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent to this programme in the United Kingdom. Individualism might well emerge as a property of postmodernity, but its genesis also lies in cultural and religious traditions, a point Droogers draws out specifically in relation to The Netherlands.
A particular attraction of the two chapters is the way they handle the domestic responses of the Churches to secularisation and to competition from alternative forms of spirituality. Assimilation and accommodation mark their responses, in particular affirming the liberal basis of Dutch Catholicism. There is a stimulating untidiness to the findings from the five research programmes that conveys a sense of contact with their ecclesial tribes.
The contribution from Droogers links back to some themes that emerged in the Kendal study, but he suggests that the Dutch experience is somewhat different.
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His main lesson drawn from The Netherlands is that secularisation and sacralisation operate together in a paradoxical way, so that institutional religion is undermined by the former but in the latter can be found a quest to experience religiosity. Thus a rather different but complex and paradoxical notion of spirituality emerges. The tales of self-accounting about spirituality require 14 A Sociology of Spirituality further investigation.Inside the Scientology Cult - Documentary (2015)
The strengths of the programme in drawing attention to what it is easy to miss are well illustrated in the companion piece from Versteeg in Chapter 5. His chapter is concerned with what he terms marginal spirituality in the context of secularisation. This underlines an important point of the collection, that the location of spirituality greatly affects the type, style and form of verification employed, whether by the self or others.
The methodological reflections in the chapter will be noted. Versteeg confronts an issue the previous three chapters do not consider — Christian spirituality. His interest is in Catholic retreat centres, and the spiritual formation and guidance these give. The market-based nature of contemporary spirituality is well illustrated in his chapter. An issue starts to emerge, touched on in Chapters 2 and 3 — that the clients for these centres tend to be predominantly middle aged, middle class and female.
Again, the issue of transmission emerges in the notion of living off a spiritual capital in this case of Catholicism but of not being committed to it as an investment in its growth. Clients are seeking a personalised spirituality. Versteeg has a useful section on techniques of self-experience that illustrates well how formation is undertaken and how spiritual growth is developed. The theological end of spirituality in these centres emerges as inchoate, unfocused, and indeed, marginalised.
The point Holmes made in Chapter 1, regarding the unevenness of response of academic disciplines, also applies in relation to gender. Earlier in Chapter 2, Voas and Bruce observed the significance of the holistic milieu for women.
In her Chapter 6, Woodhead investigates the issue of gender further. Drawing from the Kendal study, she seeks a purely sociological account for this gender imbalance in holistic spirituality.
As she suggests in the introduction to her chapter, the issue involves relatively uncharted territory. She claims there was a gender-blindness in the theoretical frameworks used to interpret the findings of the Kendal study. The subjective turn marks an expansion of cultural expectations. This coincides with changes in the relation of work to leisure, but in ways that are to the benefit of males, not females.
The outlets open to males in leisure activities that give vent to their needs of expressiveness are unavailable to females.
Holistic spirituality offers women the means of exploring an identity in cultural circumstances they can control. Thus, in this milieu they can discover subjective fulfilments and satisfactions unavailable elsewhere. The needs of identity holistic spiritualities supply partly account for the gender imbalance in their appropriation.
A rather different connection between women, spirituality and identity is explored in Chapter 7. This chapter marks a turn in the collection towards the pursuit of spirituality within organised religion, in this case Islam. Chambers is concerned with the civil rights of Islamic women who wish to veil in public. In wearing the hijab or headscarf, these women seek to express spiritual values in the identity they present in European societies where civil rights are enshrined.
In exercising these rights, these women, notably in France and Holland come into conflict with assumptions regarding the expression of religion in civil and educational institutions and in the workplace. In France, since the Revolution, secularisation has been a crucial political value, and the State exercises zeal in marking limits to the display of religious symbols in the public arena. These limitations conflict with Islamic rights for free religious expression and veiling has come to symbolise these hopes and expectations.
Chambers explores the conflicts between the two cultures, providing a novel twist to the agenda of politics of spirituality. The issue of embodiment and spirituality starts to emerge in this chapter, when Chambers uses the notions of boundaries drawn from Mary Douglas to express how these women make their mark and express their spiritual and symbolic sensibilities.
Chambers suggests that these issues point to wider questions of the state and spirituality. These direct sociological attention away from matters of subjectivity and individualism that mark the emergence of holistic spirituality.
By resetting spirituality in the context of an organised religion, Chambers illustrates how the pursuit of identity has communal implications that can elicit state intervention. These issues of spirituality and communal identity are linked to matters of immigration and ethnicity thus providing a topical turn to the second part of his chapter.
His contribution drives the issue of spirituality on to more familiar sociological landscapes. Their exploration might signify present necessities imposed on sociology that seem alien to its traditional concerns.
In his notion of form and content, the notion of spirituality emerges and more specifically, as Varga demonstrates in the distinctions Simmel makes between religion and religiosity.
Notions of individualism that emerged in previous chapters take on a different turn in the context of Simmel. He also draws out well how Simmel connects spirituality to social relationships, marking the possibility of a sociological turn away from the interior inspections of holistic spirituality. In his section on religion and postmodernity, Varga shows how issues raised by a linkage of these were anticipated by Simmel in his approach to subjective and objective facets of culture.
It is in this area that contemporary questions of spirituality belong and these can lead in a theological direction and away from purely matters of religion. As Varga concludes, the spirituality that concerned Simmel emerged from cultural circumstances that made inescapable demands to consider the transcendent and the ultimate. Despite the forces of secularisation, these imperatives persist and as suggested earlier are embedded in the ambitions of sociology to be something more than a mere science in terms of what it stands to envision.
But this generates a question that puzzles Giordan. The notion of spirituality generates a dilemma of choice for sociology as to which end to start the analysis from. Are holistic forms of spirituality the extra-mural activities of the disaffected who voluntarily cast themselves into ecclesial exile, and are therefore to be treated as creatures of disenchantment, or are these heroic seekers who quest alone, who feel more painfully the pulse of culture and are to be regarded as worthy travellers journeying to new horizons for enchantment?
Contrary to the implicit assumptions of adherents of holistic spirituality, Giordan does not see spirituality as a crisis of disconnection from organised religion, but rather as yielding strategies of connection in re-arrangements wrought by the forces of secularisation.
In this regard, his contribution bears on similar points made by Droogers in Chapter 4. As with others in the collection, Giordan links spiritual revivals in the present to efforts to rehumanise Western society that seems progressively to be ordered according to de-humanising considerations.
But what is new is the sociological realisation of the importance of spirituality emerging as a cultural need in Italian society, a point only grasped as recently as This refers to a blunting of the significance of religion and its power to command. The Introduction 17 term refers to a crisis of appropriation of what Giordan terms symbolic capital. It is as if organised religion has slipped into the background; it is part of the fabric of culture, but its weave makes no demands for interpretation, scrutiny or commitment.
In his account, spirituality and religion, contrary to the claims of the Kendal Project, are to be understood as interconnected. Somehow, alternative forms of spirituality face sterner tests in a Catholic ethos than in more individualistically prone Protestant settings. As in the case of the Dutch contributions, one senses a struggle to find new interpretative categories to make sense of a rapidly shifting cultural and religious landscape where spirituality has emerged as an unexpected, pervasive and characterising phenomenon.
The dilemmas of the individual and the institution, of the needs of objectivity and the urges of subjectivity, are not new, as Giordan reminds us. The present novelty lies in the problem of reconciling traditional forms of spirituality with current cultural needs to find and to secure their own authentic versions. The interconnection between religion and spirituality that yields a resource of power is well explored in Chapter Drawing from a wider study of the children of leading Anglican clergy, notably Bishops, Guest introduces an important concept — spiritual capital.
Again, the location of spirituality is within a theology, this time Anglicanism, though the interpretative framework Guest uses, derives from Bourdieu whose borrowings from Catholicism to formulate his sociology are increasingly well known. Guest carefully tracks the evolution of capital from economics into a sociological realm where it is given a social dimension, one that Bourdieu elaborates into cultural, symbolic and religious forms.
For his project, Guest treats the transmission of spiritual capital less in terms of a crisis but more as a means of clarifying values and cultural traits that are passed on to the children of clergy. His approach to transmission is far more definite than is the case with other contributors in the collection. Spirituality within an organised religion is treated as a definite form of empowerment, one that shapes and accounts for the subject matter of the wider study.
The application of spiritual capital to understanding clerical families and their children forms the last and substantial part of his contribution. The positive and empowering properties of spiritual capital, but also its negative effects, are well considered. Again the individualism associated with versions of spirituality is qualified by this account, which explores the altruism of clerical vocation and its effects on children, where those outside the family seem to have first claim on charity.
The 18 A Sociology of Spirituality blurring of the public and private spheres in the clerical households is well covered, again qualifying notions of their strict separation in other treatments of spirituality. The link between spiritual capital, identity and the voluntary sector suggests a communal dimension to spirituality that is deserving of further exploration.
Guest treats spirituality as a liquid resource taken from institutions but in part embodying a tradition. His methodological reflections on the study might be profitably linked to others in the collection, notably in Chapters 2—5.