The seething energies of spirituality are evident everywhere. That is good. What is not so good is that spirituality is also prone to lack of clarity, making it difficult to carry on a conversation about it.
On the flight from Johannesburg to Luanda, Angola, the airplane is packed. Half the passengers are oil workers returning for another four- or five-week stint on the wells off the coast. The other half are relief workers, coming to feed, house and cure more than a million Angolans who are starving in the wake of the country’s recently concluded civil war.
On the five Saturday nights before the 2003 Academy Awards show on March 23, a young adult group at a large church in Pasadena, California, has been discussing the five Oscar nominees for best picture.
To think that that mystics are engaged in a series of private, transcendent encounters with God betrays a superficial understanding, says Bernard McGinn. Christian mystics, in particular, are not breakaway contemplatives who find their own way toGod.