Post Modern Spirituality

The young find it difficult to accept those doctrines and dogmas as they are presented in churches. The Second Vatican Council began to try to reformulate them, but this process hasn’t gotten far, by and large. Theologians have been working at it, but the church hasn’t caught up.

One of the most significant developments of our time is the separation of spirituality from religion. You hear young people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” Once people have that genuine hunger for spirituality, they discover that hunger for meaning, for inner peace and freedom is not being satisfied by the church.

I point out in my new book that Jesus’ spirituality, for example, was both social and individual. He looked at the needs of society and also the needs of individuals and did not separate the two. When you do this, you have a holistic spirituality that addresses young people’s needs. It’s not far away and long ago; it’s about right now.

What the young do get from the church is a feeling of being terribly guilty and condemned if they don’t live up to the teachings. They are not taught how to pray. They’re not taught how to live with one another. Consequently they look in other places for this. But Jesus did just that; he taught how to pray, how to live well together.

I speak in my new book about an “appropriate” spirituality for a postmodern age. By that I mean one that speaks to the concerns, issues and insecurities of people today. It doesn’t speak to the past and how people lived in the past.

Albert Nolan


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