Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Spirituality in Transition

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Spirituality in Transition

Article excerpt

Spirituality in Transition. By James J. Bacik. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1996. vii + 232 pp. $15.95 (paper).

In addition to Spirituality in n (1996), James J. Bacik, Campus MiniSter at the University off o, is the author of Gracious Mystery (1987); Contemporary Theologians (1989); Tensions in the Church: Facing the Challenges, Seizing the Opportunity (1993); and Spirituality in Action (1997). Bacik weaves together a medley of reflections-on contemporary events, Bible stories, personal anecdotes, liturgical seasons, and popular psychological and spiritual literature. Many accurately use the adjective "kaleidoscopic" to describe his work.

Spirituality in Transition is arranged in three unequal parts. A short opening section analyses aspects of the postmodern context for a contemporary spirituality. The second and longest section is entitled "Love of Self: Facilitating Personal Development." The final chapter is "Love of Neighbor: Deepening Personal Relationships." Since the topics treated are so wideranging and multi-layered and do not correspond tightly to the chapter headings, it may be helpful to offer a brief analytical description.

To set the contemporary context, Bacik cites numerous sociological studies and current events; gives a brief definition of "spirituality"; and offers a thumbnail sketch of the historical development of modernity with its many transitions, agreeing with those who suggest that we are in the midst of a "paradigm shift" as we look toward the third millennium. In general, the book seems aimed at a broad audience, but the whirlwind treatment of so many towering figures-Aquinas, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Wagner, Emerson, Nietzsche, Lyotard, Toulmin, MacIntyre, Rorty, Babin, McLuhan- may leave the average reader overwhelmed rather than informed. …

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