The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices

Casper ter Kuile. HarperOne, $26.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-288181-6
Ter Kuile, cohost of the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, demonstrates in his thoughtful debut how the nonreligious can “liberate the gifts of tradition” to foster greater spiritual connection in their lives. He argues that, while formal religious affiliation may be waning, spiritual practices remain relevant because they can cultivate bonds to the self, others, the natural world, and the transcendent. Ter Kuile explains the significance of a variety of religious practices, including pilgrimage, prayer, and meditation, and proposes ways to capture their significance through everyday activities (“anything can become a spiritual practice—gardening, painting, singing, snuggling, sitting”) by focusing on intention, attention, and repetition. This approach leads to inventive explorations of social trends; for instance, the famously cultish appeal of the Crossfit fitness program is explained in terms of vulnerability and community. In ter Kuile’s understanding, religious traditions are “inherently creative” and therefore good starting points for considering personalized, meaningful spiritual practices. The Jewish tradition of Sabbath, for example, is reenvisioned by the author as structured “alone time” He also discusses ways to apply the devotional practices developed for reading the Bible, such as giving blessings, to engage with literature more generally. Those who are beginning to explore spirituality will find many rich ideas. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-288206-6
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