See what is inside Overcoming Spiritual Myopia
Overcoming Spiritual Myopia
is a great book
for discussion groups.
Anyone paying attention can attest that religion and spirituality play an increasing role in twenty-first century Western culture. To most listeners it may just sound like a few vociferous fundamentalists battling the values of modernity’s increasingly numerous “Nones.” But factors arising in postmodernity call us to wider appreciation of the meaning behind the universal human search for connection. A sweep through the evolution of religion shows us that every culture in man’s history has developed some way of acknowledging his connection to the Infinite. Many common elements are found among the different cultures’ approach to meeting this quest.
Modernity’s preference for science and reason stole power from the religious authorities of the past. But recent developments lend power to a new kind of spirituality—one that depends on the findings of science rather than fighting them, one that encourages individual personal authority and human connection and focuses on joy rather than sin.
In OvercomingSpiritual Myopia, practicing Optometrist Margaret Placentra Johnston, author of the award-winning Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind. (Quest Books, 2012) describes these concepts in the language of her profession. The provincial nature of exclusive belief systems is characterized as a culture-wide Spiritual Myopia. Its symptoms include Personification, Literalism, Fundamentalism, Triumphalism, simplistic Binary Logic and the Need for Certainty. New Lenses for Spiritual Clarity include Global Communications and Cultural Intermixing, the Perennial Philosophy, Big History, the New Physics, the Interfaith Movement and Interspirituality.
Two themes serve as backdrop throughout Overcoming Spiritual Myopia: 1) Spiritual Development Theory which describes a trajectory individuals tend to travel in their personal development, and to which Margaret’s first book, Faith Beyond Belief was devoted and 2) Human cultural evolution which can be shown to mirror individual spiritual development.
While challenging current assumptions, Overcoming Spiritual Myopia presents a hopeful view for an inclusive, interconnected and more loving society that would be ours if only more people could appreciate
the unifying potential of postmodern spiritual understandings.