Religion Series

Ruining a Good Thing: One Story of How Spirituality Becomes Religion

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Ruining a Good Thing: One Story of How Spirituality Becomes Religion

Ruins. All that remains of a culture that lasted continuously for over 700 years at Mesa Verde. Like a skeleton, its bones and articulations telling a rich story, from a nomadic people tired of wandering, to a frightened and fighting society starved into leaving for kinder territory in Arizona and New Mexico. When I was a kid, I loved ruins, ate up archeology, and in some ways, even now, am as much a cultural anthropologist as therapist. I am a social worker, and one of our credos is person-in-environment. Visiting Mesa Verde with a dear old friend a few weeks ago, my inner anthropologist was...

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Are Religion and Spirituality Really at Odds?

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Are Religion and Spirituality Really at Odds?

Religion. Just the word itself brings a palpable, observable quake to most thinking persons’ systems. Even those who acknowledge the numinous quickly clarify, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” Who can blame them? We live in an extraordinary country, one founded on religious freedom; yet historically, religion in this country has been used to control, to justify discrimination, even its most heinous expressions, from the KKK to cults. Those of us raised in religious households are particularly prone to eschewing religion, it’s shoulds, it condemnations of particular...

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