'Spiritual but not religious'

In the evolving spiritual landscape of modern Europe, there is an increasingly large section of society which describes itself as ‘spiritual but not religious.’ What riches and resources does the Anglican tradition have to offer to those who are spiritually curious but on the margins of, or outside, the church, as well as to those inside the church?
A new book on the subject, Pioneers of Modern Spirituality by Professor Jane Shaw, may be of interest to members of the diocese in thinking about these questions.
Pioneers of Modern Spirituality introduces four Anglicans - Evelyn Underhill, Reginald Somerset Ward, Percy Dearmer, and Rose Macaulay - who identified the ways in which people were disaffected with institutional religion across the 20th century, and yet remained on a spiritual quest. All four sat at the edges of the church - sometimes even outside it - at moments during their own spiritual journeys. Each called the church to an engagement with the world and a rediscovery of the depths of its own tradition. Each, in their own sphere, encouraged a revival of spirituality, and a renewal of the great Anglican heritage of prayer, beauty, worship, community-building and social justice.
A final chapter explores what these figures have to teach us about spirituality, the church and mission today.
‘A powerful, original and attractive book, highlighting the ways in which a liturgically rich and intellectually resourceful Christianity can provide the energy for radical witness and solidarity with the most marginal. Jane Shaw reminds us that Anglicans once knew a bit about this, and might do well to rediscover it at a time when such connections need making afresh in our confused culture.’
Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and former Archbishop of Canterbury