My labyrinth is an image map;
names and spheres to find out more about
what's hot and what's not in pop
ever noticed how the word "spirituality" has replaced the word "religion,"
and "spiritual" has replaced "religious," in common use these
days? This language shift is a symptom for a much larger and more important
tendency for people to practice their faith outside the bounds of organized religion.
But once the passions of religious conviction are let loose upon the world, unchained
to any particular tradition or discipline, all sorts of new and wonderful things
begin to happen, some quite positive, others much less so. The ideas of
a Matthew Fox, for example,
are very creative. While the doctrines of the Heaven's
Gate cult group were obviously very destructive. Given the widespread
popularity of all things spiritual, there is a need for a review of what's hot
and what's not in the spiritual arena these days. In that context, we offer
The design featured above was rendered in a great cathedral
during the middle ages; today "the
labyrinth" has become one of the most familiar icons of pop spirituality.
But in this fast-changing field, leaders, movements, ideas, books, even entire
institutions come and go, rise and fall, are born and die, often with the life
span of a may fly. By way of tracking what's in and what's out, I use the labyrinth
design as a grid. Then I identify a particular item with a red or blue sphere.
If it's red, and approaching the center of the labyrinth, you'll see it on TV,
read books about in at the Barnes and Nobles Cafe, and hear it talked about at
cocktail parities this summer in the Hamptons. If it's blue, and moving
toward the periphery of the labyrinth, books about it are in the remainder basket
at Strand, and anyone interested in it may either have been preoccupied with other
interests in recent months, or have developed such a lasting involvement with
it that popularity no longer counts. I'll update the labyrinth chart on a
regular basis to track the latest trends in pop spirituality.
of labyrinth ©Charles Henderson