Associated Ministries’ Second Annual Conference, Spiritual Climate Change: Toward a New Future for Faith, will take place at Pacific Lutheran University all day Saturday, February 23, 2013.
Keynote speaker for the conference, Diana Butler Bass, is the author of eight books, including Christianity for the Rest of Us and A People’s History of Christianity. The framework for the conference is drawn from concepts introduced in her latest book, Christianity After Religion.
Spiritual Climate Change: Toward a New Future for Faith is an ecumenical/interfaith gathering, inviting dialogue and conversation among people interested in exploring how spirituality is being revealed and expressed. Please join us. We think you’ll find this conference to be a powerful experience.
About Diana’s Work:
In 2009, 48 percent of Americans claimed they had a mystical encounter with the divine, an increase of more than 25 percent since the early 60s. Interestingly, these experiences of God are reported by people of all faiths, and many are not Christian. Now, in her new book, Christianity After Religion: The End of the Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening, Diana Butler Bass examines how in the past few decades American faith has undergone a profound and extensive reorientation away from externalized religion and toward internalized spiritual experience.
Drawing on rigorous research, including visits with hundreds of strong Christian communities, polling information, and conversations with pastors, Bass points out that what started in the seventies as the stirrings of a new spiritual awakening has evolved into a vast interreligious movement of individual social and cultural transformation significantly altering the religious landscape in America.
In fact, these days more and more Americans are discontent with religion, and instead turn to spirituality to reconnect with God, themselves, and others. This is because traditional Christianity focuses on the prescriptions What to believe, How to behave, and Who you are. With spirituality, on the other hand, people experience a connection to the divine directly and through community, and are moved to change and serve others, and ultimately discover what they believe.
Dr. Bass urges readers to ask spiritual questions like “How do I believe,” which places the focus on meaning and purpose, and “Whom do I believe,” which leads to authority through connection, personal investment and communal accountability. The result is religion unhinged from the notions of believing versus not believing, truth versus untruth, and us versus them.
By fusing together spirituality and religion, we arrive at new visions for believing, behaving, and belonging based on our experiences, and learn how to awaken to and participate