Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters  -     By: Roger S. Gottlieb
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Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters

Oxford University Press / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 0199738750
ISBN-13: 9780199738755
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

Winner of the Nautilus Silver Award

Spirituality is a unique account of spirituality from traditional religion to the present that reveals the common thread that joins Mahayana Buddhism and Hasidic Judaism, the Sufi Rumi and the Catholic St. Thomas a Kempis, people of all faiths and those who are "spiritual but not religious." Roger S. Gottlieb argues that spirituality is the simple but extraordinarily difficult attempt to face life's rigors and disappointments by becoming more mindful, accepting, grateful, compassionate, and lovingly connected to others. These virtues oppose both the social ego's attachment and arrogance, and any habitual, unreflective religiosity; and the path towards them can be shared equally by people inspired by belief in one God or many, the divinity of nature or the sacredness of life.

Spirituality examines the promises and perils of spiritual life as understood both within and outside of traditional faiths, explains the rise of the widespread spiritual detachment from institutional religion, and offers illuminating accounts of yoga, meditation, and prayer. There are also insightful studies of spirituality's relation to modern medicine, nature and the environmental crisis, and political activism.

Author Bio


Roger S. Gottlieb is Professor of Philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Editorial Reviews


"The single best book giving an objective look at the burgeoning interest in spirituality that exists in the English language." --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor-in-chief of Tikkun


"We agree with Gottlieb when he affirms a piece of wisdom which traveled the world: 'Do your best and leave the rest to God'...Gottlieb puts his faith in grace and in the human capacity for transformation."--Spirituality & Practice


"Roger Gottlieb has created a piece of art in surveying the literature on how meditation and Yoga might help reduce pain and suffering, then switching to a heart-felt narration of struggles within his own family." -- Christopher Chapple, Loyola Marymount University


"This book validates and provides grounding for the wide range of discussions and claims around 'spirituality.' It is much needed in a time when many claim to be 'spiritual' rather than 'religious,' eschewing organized religion for individualized experiences of the sacred."--Stephanie Kaza, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Vermont


"Gottlieb is an outstanding scholar whose work in areas related to spirituality is well known and much appreciated. This book is timely, perhaps overdue, given the extensive interest in 'things spiritual' in the broader culture, the intense concern for a more eclectic approach to 'the spiritual' in the larger culture, and the need for a single volume text that offers a survey of opinions, options and practices."--Bill J. Leonard, James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies and Professor of Church History, Wake Forest University


"Spirituality is a concept that requires attention given its inconsistent yet ubiquitous employment in a full range of contemporary human endeavors. Gottlieb's judicious selection of representative examples of figures and practices will give readers some tools to help better understand and define spirituality without falsely representing it as a uniform phenomenon."--Diane L. Moore, Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education, Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, and Director of the Religious Literacy Project and the Certificate in Religious Studies and Education, Harvard Divinity School


"Gottlieb s explorations are critical to our times, as new medical threats arise from superbugs, climate disasters, and accumulating environmental toxins." -- Stephanie Kaza, University of Vermont


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