Contemporary Christian spirituality: a <i>worldly</i> embodiment




Contemporary renascent spirituality secures for itself a motif of materiality and physical embodiment. This embodiment pertains to renascent spirituality both as lived-life experience and particularly as contemporary academic discipline. The influential sources of an embodied spirituality are to be found in spirituality’s reflective self-understanding, the rich resources of the Christian tradition, the growing interest in lived Christian experience as such, and the post-Vatican II conciliatory spirit and momentum. Renascent spirituality not only accommodates and endorses embodiment and “worldly” materiality; it also realises a new wholeness and integration for Christian spirituality. While it might seem a commonplace to defend Christian spirituality’s embodied, incarnational reality, it is clear that spirituality has not always been so understood, even constituting a pejorative connotation at times as something essentially detached, disembodied and inferentially dualistic. Spirituality in its revived sense holds within itself and its inherited tradition the potential to critique such disembodiment while simultaneously securing the mystery and transcendent dimension of embodied Christian living.