By Douglas V. Porpora
Do you suspect in God? 9 out of ten american citizens unhesitatingly resolution sure. yet for Douglas Porpora, the true questions start the place pollsters depart off. What, he asks, does spiritual trust really suggest in our lives? Does it form our identities and our activities? Or, regardless of our professions of religion, are we morally adrift? Landscapes of the Soul paints a traumatic photograph of yank religious existence. In his look for solutions to his questions, Porpora interviewed clerks and bosses, Jews, evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, or even fans of Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh. He requested them approximately God, and approximately what they observed as their very own position within the universe. What he stumbled on was once a frequent lack of ability to articulate any grand that means of lifestyles. We lack heroes to encourage us. We lack a feeling of calling, of transcendent function in our lifestyles. many people appear incapable of being concerned deeply concerning the affliction of others. Our society is permeated with ethical indifference. sure, we're a believing humans, yet God is usually a far away abstraction and barely an emotional presence in our lives. purely such an emotional connection, Porpora argues, could be the foundation of a real ethical imaginative and prescient. Our emotional estrangement from God and the sacred retains us from worrying approximately social justice, retains us from desirous to swap the area, retains us enclosed in our personal deepest worlds. Landscapes of the Soul is a passionate name to expand our religious and ethical horizons, to elevate our eyes to the better fact that unites us all.
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Additional resources for Landscapes of the Soul: The Loss of Moral Meaning in American Life
Throughout his life, Stevens remains true to the moral purpose of his calling, even heroically so. Yet, in the face of what Lord Darlington was up to, Stevens himself comes to recognize a higher ethical demand that transcends the obligations of any one profession, any one social position. It is an ethical demand Stevens encounters in the persons of Miss Kenton and in Darlington’s nephew, Mr. Cardinal. It is a universal ethical demand that addresses Stevens not as a butler but as a human being. Who is the self addressed by this universal ethic if it is not some specific, social identity?
It is much more difficult in today’s multicultural climate to speak of moral space and metaphysical space. ” Who’s to say which metaphysical picture is right or wrong? Who’s to say what the meaning of life is? Like many more sophisticated academics and intellectuals, my students believe these questions unanswerable, permitting them to dismiss moral and metaphysical inquiry. Yet, even about ultimate matters, we will see, there are ways to establish some truths. Even about God, there are points on which a theist can persuade an open-minded atheist, or an atheist an open-minded theist.
Twice divorced, he now lives alone. The other two, Veet Raj and Anand Naveeno, are a younger, married couple who run a small business. Veet Raj is an African American man, formerly from Jamaica. Anand Naveeno came to Rajneesh Purim from Germany, where she joined the movement. None of the Sanskrit names that these Sannyasins now go by is original. When one becomes a Sannyasin, one is initiated into a new identity that breaks with the past. This is signified by a new name, which is accompanied by a poem.