Spirit Matters

3.85 avg rating
( 39 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781571743602: Spirit Matters

Stock options and high earnings are no replacement for a sense of meaning and purpose for one's life. Living in a society whose "bottom line" is "looking out for number one" has undermined friendships, made relationships difficult, produced alienation and loneliness-and has been used to justify corporate social irresponsibility and environmental destructiveness. Selfishness and materialism permeate our relationships in work and in personal life, while we are taught to keep our spiritual life and our moral vision away from the public sphere.

Spirit Matters shows how deeply we've been hurt personally, emotionally, ecologically, and politically by living in a world that systematically represses our spiritual needs-and how we might create a personal life and society that embodies what Michael Lerner describes as an Emancipatory Spirituality. It is a spirituality that affirms that there is enough, that generosity, atonement, joy, and celebration of the grandeur of the universe can be basic building blocks in constructing our own lives together. Spirit Matters demonstrates that the time is now to stop compromising with a world whose fundamentals are so far from our own highest values and begin to create the world we privately tell ourselves we really believe in.

Don't be misled by the easy and accessible style of Lerner's writings: Spirit Matters is a profound new contribution to social theory and spiritual practice, and a new framework for thinking about childhood, loving relationships, the world of work, politics, law, education, and ecology. It is on the cutting edge of contemporary thought and yet speaks to the heart and soul.

Spirit Matters speaks both to people who have tended to think that "spirit" is an empty category for religious zealots or a reactionary tool of repression, as well as to those who take spirituality seriously in their personal lives but who have yet realized that their spiritual practice could be the basis for a fundamental transformation of the world.

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Review:

Spirit Matters is a highly recommended book for anyone who longs to live in a world with stronger spiritual values and less emphasis on ecological destruction, material gain, and technological progress. And nowadays, there are a lot of us out there struggling with those phenomena, according to acclaimed rabbi and author Michael Lerner (The Politics of Meaning). Many individuals live as a "divided self," he explains. We privately hold deep, spiritual beliefs but are too uncertain or shy when it comes to asserting those beliefs in the public arena.

To bridge this duality, Lerner offers this thoroughly readable manual on how to introduce solid and healthy spiritual values into our world culture. This is not about pushing a hidden religious agenda or trying to create a fadlike movement around the latest New Agey ideology. Rather, Lerner presents an intelligent vision of people deeply caring for one another and our planet. Chapter by chapter Lerner gives examples of what readers can do for the environment, endangered animals, hospitals, prisons, the workplace, the home front, and neighborhoods. As a narrator and thinker, Lerner is sweeping and eloquent in his understanding of spiritual complexities. He also offers specific suggestions, such as improving education by eliminating "the SATs and other odious forms of testing" or addressing U.S. prison problems by eliminating jail terms for nonviolent crimes. As a spiritual and political manifesto, Spirit Matters cannot be praised enough. --Gail Hudson

Book Description:

In a manifesto for transforming the world, a popular rabbi offers a step-by-step approach for welcoming back "a spirituality that has been repressed for centuries" to foster personal, institutional, and global transformation.

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Lerner, Michael
Published by Hampton Roads Publishing (2002)
ISBN 10: 157174360X ISBN 13: 9781571743602
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Lerner, Michael
Published by Hampton Roads Publishing
ISBN 10: 157174360X ISBN 13: 9781571743602
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