Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Soul's Religion

"Every human life is a profound mystery. Deep and invisible currents make us who we are, and the world around us is full of secret intentions and laws. One response to all this mystery is to treat it as a problem to be solved and to do everything possible to be informed and in control. But another way is to bow down in ignorance and confess our limitations. Religion and spirituality, for eons intimately connected, offer creative ways to become people of depth and compassion through embracing mystery."
– Thomas Moore

Anna Weinberg, assistant editor at Book writes a background article about The Soul’s Religion: Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life, and about Moore’s approaches in the book.

For BookPage, Karen Jenks, a nurse in Nashville, pens a brief and supportive review saying, "Moore confesses that the religion he envisions in this book is difficult to spell out. Nevertheless, his meaningful presentation is masterful and powerful, in no small measure because the author is intimately acquainted with the lessons himself."

Steve Maynard interviewed Thomas Moore in Tacoma, Washington about The Soul’s Religion. In the article, published 27 April 2002 by The News Tribune and not available on the web, Maynard reports that in addition to commenting on challenges facing the Catholic Church, Moore talked about the place of religion after 9/11:
The terrorist attacks "should be a signal to us that the majority of the world is suffering and is not living the good life that we have," he said. "This is not to blame us for what's happening.... But it's a signal to us, I think, to really reach out and do something about the situation in this world" so that people have the basic necessities of life.
An issue permeating his new book is that many people are searching or are skeptical about religion, while others remain loyal to religious institutions, including churches, temples and mosques.
"Those who are still in the institutions, I think, need to cultivate, develop that deeper soul of their religion and not spend so much time worried about dogma and membership and rules of practice and authority," he said. "Those things are not the essence, they're not the soul of religion."
Besides taking care of one's material needs, Moore said, the soul of religion "is having "great vision about the meaning of your life, about how to deal with illness and mortality, and how to love, how to raise children, how to make community."
Jaye-Q’s Brew, a popular column in The Trinidad Guardian picks up on Moore’s observation that the masculine deity may overshadow the sacred feminine but she does not disappear. For the L.A. Times, Larry Stammer writes a thoughtful and personal review, endorsing the book based on his conviction that Moore’s readers "know him to speak from experience deeply rooted in failings and triumphs." The March 2003 review in Spirituality & Health draws attention to Thomas Moore’s attempts to "keep the sacred and the secular together" ― criticizing "the authoritarianism of Catholicism and the perfectionism of New Age spirituality…"