• Adventism, Postmodernity and Spirituality

    Reinder Bruinsma
    Tom de Bruin (see profile)
    Spes Christiana (journal)
    Theology, Spirituality
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    This article explores to what extent postmodern thinking has impacted the way in which spirituality is defined and experienced within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Before proceeding with the argument that we can indeed see a definite and substantial impact, the three essential terms (Adventism, postmodernity and spirituality) are defined and a short overview is given of the impact of postmodernity on life in the era in which we now live. Then attention is given to developments (under the influence of postmodernity) in the domain of spirituality, and, in particular, to the increase of spirituality outside the church. Some wider trends in the ecclesial world are reflected in Adventism. Of special importance is the fact that most expressions of Adventist spirituality have traditionally been channeled into institutionalized forms and, in general, the church’s leadership has become extremely concerned about new approaches they cannot control and that emphasize religious experience at the expense of doctrine. This concern, the author contends, has manifested itself very clearly in reactions toward Spiritual Formation and The One Project. The author believes this is one of many clear indications of a deep divide between modern and postmodern Adventism. Further study would be needed to either prove or disprove whether his thesis is correct and/or to what extent other factors, besides postmodernism, help to explain recent and contemporary developments in the domain of spirituality.
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    1 year ago
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