More Religion?

I sometimes challenge my students to reflect more deeply upon the reality of the Christian faith in our post-[insert your choice of noun here:  Christian, modern, secular, truth, etc.] context by inverting the popular cultural slogan and claiming that I’m “religious but not spiritual.”

It seems that Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt may agree with my provocative sentiment.  After exploring the ways that the rituals of the Catholic tradition bound Dorothy Day to the people she otherwise found so difficult to live with, Bauerschmidt, in his wonderful book The Love that is God: An Invitation to Christian Faith, observes:

“So perhaps the answer to the widespread disillusion that many, particularly young people, feel toward the church is not less religion and more spirituality but in fact more religion, more habit, more ritual.  That is to say, in a divided and lonely world those who have been called into friendship with Jesus need to be, even in their differences, more bound to each other, not less.  The world needs a people who are so closely bound together by the God who is love that they can afford to differ from and with each other and yet still meet at the table of the Eucharist, the feast of friendship in Christ.”1

  1. Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, The Love that is God: An Invitation to the Christian Faith (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020), 105.

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