Because I have on occasion spoken critically of current fashions in spirituality, I am asked: “What have you got against ‘being spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’?” This is a good moment to respond.
Two kinds of spirituality receive attention today. The first and less popular kind was invented at least as long ago as when the Psalms were written. It received a boost in the New Testament and has been a main expression of Christianity ever since. It has counterparts in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. There are good and bad versions of this kind of spirituality, but the various forms have this in common: they are communal. Even the monastic hermits drew on the texts, prayers and vitalities of a communal life. They understood that biologically, socially, politically, ecclesiologically and theologically “we are members one of another.”