Shopping for God: A Sceptic's Search for Value in the Spiritual Marketplace

 
9780006281733: Shopping for God: A Sceptic's Search for Value in the Spiritual Marketplace

An exploration of what happens when the sophisticated comparison shopper goes searching for God.

In this witty and light hearted book, Roland Howard is on a quest for a spirituality strong enough to cope with our cynical post-modern consumer culture. On the way, he has undertaken to guide us through the multitude of religious possibilities, from the weird to the ridiculous

Some search for truth in the rural lifestyle, some even live completely isolated from the modern world. But can such retreat be truly fulfilling? Others simply serve the community, working to save the homeless and the lost, as the faithful have always done. There are even those who embrace the modern world, seeking God in cyberspace and in rave clubs with a different focus.

Roland Howard explores them all, with one eye on the experiences of their members, and one eye on the way they have influenced each other, with New Age belief systems taking inspiration from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. Can we ‘pick and mix’ our path to spirituality, or do some religious values still stand out as significant for humankind?

The conclusion will be accepted by open minded Christians, as it simply lists the qualities that the seeker might wish to match against a religion or church.

Subjects and places include: Druids, The Rainbow Tribe, Jesus Army, Raelians (in the news recently for their views on human cloning), Hare Krishna, Internet churches, TM, Findhorn, witches, Glastonbury and others.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Is spirituality more than just a lifestyle choice? In Shopping for God, prompted by something of an epiphany at Milton Keynes--where, beneath the Golden Arches, the scales fall from his eyes and he sees for all its worth the bankruptcy of consumer culture--Howard embarks on an enthralling journey of discovery. Like a true postmodern pilgrim, he ventures to sample as many delicacies from the spiritual smogasbord as he can. Unlike many a postmodern pilgrim, he asks tough questions of the "faiths" he finds along the way, offering a healthy dose of critical, yet intelligent, analysis.

This is more travelogue than treatise, written with the warmth and humour of a Bill Bryson. Howard's search takes him to the tips of tors, to tucked-away churches, hidden valleys peppered with teepees and basement chapels awaiting their UFO saviours. It is both a fascinating and moving account, as he genuinely seeks enlightenment from druids, King Arthur lookalikes, sound healers, witches, seekers of the cosmic orgasm, fundamentalist Christians, self-help therapists and others.

Shopping for God is sharp and well-researched--a worthy social document for the turn of the century. Many "normal" people still long to believe, but struggle to belong (especially to organised religion). So is there something out there that gives meaning and depth to a culture obsessed with the surface of things? "I am not sure if I can believe at this point," concludes Howard. "I find some of the stories hard to swallow. That is not the heart of it for me, though. I am waiting to be convinced." It certainly beats a day at Milton Keynes. --Brian Draper

From the Back Cover:

In this witty and light hearted book, Roland Howard is on a quest for a spirituality strong enough to cope with our cynical post-modern consumer culture. On the way, he has undertaken to guide us through the multitude of religious possibilities, from the weird to the ridiculous

Some search for truth in the rural lifestyle, some even live completely isolated from the modern world. But can such retreat be truly fulfilling? Others simply serve the community, working to save the homeless and the lost, as the faithful have always done. There are even those who embrace the modern world, seeking God in cyberspace and in rave clubs with a different focus.

Roland Howard explores them all, with one eye on the experiences of their members, and one eye on the way they have influenced each other, with New Age belief systems taking inspiration from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. Can we ‘pick and mix’ our path to spirituality, or do some religious values still stand out as significant for humankind.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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