Spirituality and Religion in a Secular Age

david-stacey-200pxPresented by David Tacey
Author of numerous works on religion, spirituality and society

We live in a period of history in which public opinion is privileging spirituality above religion, and where the latter is regarded with a good deal of suspicion. The construction of spirituality and religion as opposites is anomalous from an historical point of view. Spirituality once referred to the living core of religion, and those who wanted to take religion a step further than common experience were said to be spiritual. Now those who are “not very religious” are claiming to be spiritual. In today’s climate, it is not popular to point to the ongoing connection between spirituality and religion, but in ideal conditions they belong together and have a great deal to offer each other. Other talks that David will give at the Seminar include Michael Leunig: Cartoonist of the Spiritual Journey; Youth Spirituality: What Is It? What Do Youth Believe?; Spinning on a Dream Thread: Indigenous Spirituality and Environmental Crisis and God After God: What Does God Mean in a Godless Time?

Meditation as a Modern Spiritual Path

Pre-seminar meditation retreat: January 12-15

Laurence Freeman 2

Led by Laurence Freeman OSB
Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation

At some point in life we realise that we are not just finding time for a spiritual journey because that is just what life itself is. We seek to make sense of the hardships we suffer and to understand the meaning of happiness. Meditation then becomes the most important direction-giver and source of personal stability. Inner and outer become harmonised. Relationships are changed and values are clarified. We see that the psychological and physical benefits of meditation point to deeper spiritual fruits. Laurence Freeman OSB will explore these connections and suggest how they transform our lives.

Post-seminar Pilgrimage

January 19-21

The pilgrimage is a journey to the Bay of Islands and the Hokianga, the cradle of Christianity in New Zealand, and will be led by members of the New Zealand Meditation Community. Christmas Day 2014 marks the bicentennial of the first sermon delivered by Rev. Samuel Marsden, of the Church Missionary Society and Anglican priest. This took place at the Bay of Islands. The first Catholic Mass was celebrated at Totara Point in the Hokianga on 13 January 1838 by the French missionary, Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier. The return trip will include a visit to the famous Waipoua Forest which hosts New Zealand’s largest kauri tree, Tane Mahuta.

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