Spirituality: Untapped Mission Field or Giant Red Herring?

Having just completed Dr. Fraser’s marvellous book, “Mission in Contemporary Scotland,” I am pleased to share a short piece of particular interest to me. In general terms, because I have a master’s degree in spiritual formation, or Christian spirituality to be precise. More specifically, because “spirituality” is one of the means by which I hope to reach out in my new Scottish mission environment. Fraser has been most helpful in the many questions we all have related to the Church, her identity and mission. And, for me, that identity and mission here in Edinburgh.

Enjoy, and, if you like a well-balanced, thoughtful, lovingly orthodox view into imago Dei/missio Dei, procure his book. You’ll be glad you did!

Mission in Contemporary Scotland

Religion sometimes gets a bad rep these days. From Trump-supporting evangelicalism in the United States, to the Taliban, to Northern Ireland, to the stereotypes of Victorian moralism, an increasingly small number of people want to be labelled with the word ‘religious’ or even that of ‘Christian’.

Yet as the labels ‘religious’ and ‘Christian’ have declined in social prestige, so ‘spiritual’ has become more prominent. Prior to the 1960s and the Beatles trip to India (anyone old enough to remember that?) the words ‘spiritual’ and ‘spirituality’ were largely connected with certain elements of Roman Catholic devotion, and the Gospel songs of former American slaves. From the 1960s onward, however, the term morphed into something far wider and socially important. ‘Spiritual but not religious’ became one of the main forms of Western religiosity, the individualist counterpart to the moribund ‘institutional religion’ of yesteryear.

Despite it being such a widely used term, however…

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