A Spirituality of Resistance: Finding a Peaceful Heart & Protecting the Earth

Roger S. Gottlieb, Author
Roger S. Gottlieb, Author Crossroad Publishing Company $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8245-1518-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7425-3283-0
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Invoking the spirits of Dorothy Day, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr., Gottlieb (This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment) strives to shape a personal spirituality marked by social justice. Most often, he says, people associate spirituality with personal happiness and inner peace. The author notes that most methods of spiritual practice encourage individual growth and spiritual self-esteem. Yet, says Gottlieb, this turn inward spiritually detaches people from the problems of the world where they live their everyday lives. Gottlieb argues that we must stop separating spirituality from social responsibility and instead recognize that our spirituality imbues all our political and social decisions. The author uses the massive evils of the Holocaust and the destruction of the environment to illustrate his thesis that religious people often separate the spiritual from the political. Urging spiritual seekers to identify resistance with spiritual fulfillment, Gottlieb asserts that in such an act ""we encounter the face of God, awaken to the call of the Goddess, and realize our deepest connections to the mysteries of human life."" Gottlieb's brand of spirituality promotes the achievement of true peace and oneness with all of reality through embracing evil and pain. Gottlieb's pleas for a spirituality that overcomes and resists evil even as it embraces it are eloquent and passionate. (Mar.)
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