Young spiritual leaders are beginning to remove the reasons why
so many of us have kept religion at arm's length.
"Spiritual sagacity does not belong only to seniors like Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day, Martin Buber and Abraham Joshua Heschel, the veteran Desmond Tutu and the aging Dalai Lama. Let's hear from a generation that is marked by new experiences."
—from the Preface by Martin E. Marty
By transforming our faith traditions in light of today's increasing diversity, the search for community, the Internet and our changing lifestyles, these young, visionary spiritual leaders are helping to create the new spirituality.
Ten contributors, most in their mid-thirties, span the spectrum of religious traditions—Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, Buddhist—and offer their "visions," bold spiritual manifestos, for transforming our faith communities and our lives.
Hear how one Catholic priest proclaims "all religion and spirituality ought to be zesty, passionate, rich and deep"; how one rabbi serves a "congregation" on the web for Microsoft and rides in squad cars on drug busts in New York City; how a self-described "Zen priest" is serving an Episcopal church in Alaska; and how a talented young woman lives her "wild and precious life" changing the world as a nun.
These stories, and others, will challenge your assumptions about what religion is—and isn't.
In an era of do-it-yourself spirituality and shopping-mall churches, is there any place for religion in its more traditional, institutional forms? The contributors to this volume, all full-time religious workers mostly in their 30s, share a common belief that traditional religion can be vital and relevant. They include a fourth-generation Japanese-American, serving an Episcopal parish in Alaska, who calls himself a "Zen-Christian priest"; a young African-American pastor in Baltimore; a Catholic nun; and the volume's editor, who serves as the voice behind Microsoft's Web site "Ask the Rabbi." With such an eclectic crew, the reader may hope for interfaith insights as well as glimpses into a new generation for the oft-maligned mainline religions. But the majority of essays disappoint, exhibiting sweeping generalizations, unintentional clich s and an earnestness that weighs down the reader with good intentions. The writers are at their best when they are not attempting to solve all of religion's problems in "manifesto" fashion but are focusing