Many people – even many believing Christians – consider “spirituality” a soft science that leans on psychology, anthropology and sociology but which is governed in many respects by feeling and sentiment. By contrast, these same people often believe “theology” is rationalistic, academic and distant from daily life. The split between theology and spirituality in the popular mind has had a negative impact on Christian devotion and life over the centuries. There have been times when spirituality came unmoored from its theological anchor and drifted into shallow water. But, says James Bacik, the Second Vatican Council brought the two together again and has given today’s spirituality new depth dimension.
The first part of this book tracks the meandering interplay of spirituality and theology in the history of the church, from its earliest days, through the Middle Ages, the Reformation and into the present. It weighs the achievements of representative Catholic theologians and spiritual figures during the last half century. The second part of the book looks at specific areas where ethology and spirituality are finding a new integration today. These range from personal prayer to church authority, from Mary to morality. This is where Christians are forging a spirituality for tomorrow – a spirituality that reflects their deepest human desires and, hopefully, one that is supported and buoyed by theology.
James J. Bacik
James J. Bacik is the author of Tensions in the Church, Spirituality in Transition and Spirituality in Action. He is the pastor of Corpus Christi University Parish in Toledo, Ohio.