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New Directions in Australian Spirituality: Sabbath beyond the Church

Rees, Frank D. (2015) New Directions in Australian Spirituality: Sabbath beyond the Church. Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, 47 (1). pp. 75-88. ISSN 0588-3237

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Abstract

Only a small proportion of Australians now attend church regularly and a growing number identify as ‘No religion’. But with these trends, something has happened to Sunday. This paper begins with the movements towards brunch, bikes and Bunnings—along with many other activities, such as shopping and sport. Arguably, there is a renewal of ‘sabbath’ in Australian life, with a fresh emphasis on healthy lifestyle, family life and community service.

John Carroll argues that the ‘divine breath’ has left the church but has not disappeared; it is evident in elements in Australian life. There are limitations and dangers in this situation. Scott Cowdell names the need for ‘a story’ to sustain spiritual life. Charles Taylor sees the emergence of informal groups and networks as the means by which spiritual life will develop. Carroll shares Graham Ward’s concern that consumerism might overwhelm spiritual awareness and practices.

Several theologians have identified new directions for theological understanding of these trends. Beginning with Harvey Cox’s emphasis on ‘the age of the Spirit’, this paper suggests that theology must attend to the activities of the Spirit, both within and beyond the church. The Spirit’s gifts of life, freedom, truth, unity, beauty and healing can be discerned in our society, as well as within the church. To discern and relate to these activities of the Spirit is the task of all Christians and in turn offers us all new dimensions of spiritual life.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Australian spirituality; sabbath; ministry of all;
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: D - Pastoral Studies
D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rev Dr Frank Rees
Date Deposited: 02 May 2016 01:27
Last Modified: 02 May 2016 01:27
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1911

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