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Urban Christian Spirituality

East Asian and Nordic Perspectives

Edited By Knut Alfsvåg and Thor Strandenæs

This book explores some of the challenges presented to church and mission from the contemporary culture of globalization and how this affects Christian spirituality in various ways. The attention is primarily focused on contemporary East Asian urban life, but from the assumption that this may not be all that different from what is experienced in urban contexts in other parts of the world. The authors all share an affiliation with institutions related to the Norwegian Mission Society and its work in East Asia.
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Constructing Christian Spirituality in the City

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1. Aim and Approach

The aim of this contribution is to identify some basic elements of and the special conditions for a Christian spirituality, tailored to people living in big cities. In treating this topic it is natural to first take a closer look at history, at what in the Christian Church has constituted spirituality, including its main assumptions and basic elements, thereafter taking into account how spirituality can be constructed and adapted to life in the city. Due to the scope of this contribution it is not possible to undertake a comprehensive review or to take into account the specific needs of the individual. Both the needs of individuals and the form of spirituality that suits them will in fact vary depending on gender, age, individual life orientation and circumstances. But they will also reflect a person’s ways of learning and coping with life. Individual spirituality will therefore be influenced by that intelligence or those intelligences which are predominantly used by the individual when coping with life.

In many publications Howard Gardner has drawn our attention to the multiple intelligences we make use of in learning and living.1 He has not, however, accepted ‘spiritual intelligence’ as one of these, partly due to the difficulty of defining and specifying it scientifically. However, with each of the eight intelligences which Gardner has identified it is possible for people to orientate themselves spiritually. Therefore, when one deals with the spirituality of larger populations ← 15 | 16 → or...

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