BODY AS SPIRIT: The Nature of Religious Feeling by Charles Davis

BODY AS SPIRIT: The Nature of Religious Feeling

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Since his dramatic departure from the Catholic Church in 1967, Christian theologian Charles Davis has been gradually developing a fresh understanding of religious experience, free of ecclesiastical politics and catholic in scope. In this latest book, he demonstrates the centrality of feeling to religious living--not pious emotion, but the natural response of one's whole person to the experience of transcendent mystery; without this animating spring, ritual atrophies into routine, doctrine into rote. Over a range of vital topics, Davis explores the differences between a healthy ""sensuousness"" that is one with a sacramental sense of reality and a distorted ""sensuality"" that sees the body as an instrument for egoistic aims, whether carnal or spiritual. Genuine religiousness is a matter of ""achieved spontaneity"": it integrates human bodiliness, mortality, sexuality, and fallibility in a holistic response to the world, other persons, and the transcendent. A methodological chapter advocating critical reflection on concrete religious traditions concludes the book. Although the trek through Davis' text involves negotiating occasional thickets of close philosophical analysis, the vistas opened up offer ample reward.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Seabury