East Asian and Nordic Perspectives
Edited By Knut Alfsvåg and Thor Strandenæs
Folk Religious Spirituality in Hong Kong: Its Relational and Utilitarian Aspects – a Challenge for the Christian Church
In the following I shall be dealing with two main characteristics of folk religious spirituality in Hong Kong and their bearings on Christian spirituality there. Before turning to these characteristics there is a need for defining spirituality in a folk religious context and for briefly describing the context of Chinese Hong Kong in which folk religious spirituality can be found.
2. Spirituality in the Folk Religious Context
Spirituality, when defined widely, encompasses both the normative and the folk religious spirituality, Christian as well as non-Christian. Textbooks on Christian spirituality tend to reflect a common dilemma: Whereas one may easily agree on a general definition, the term spirituality “is resistant to precise definition, partly due to the variety of senses in which the term is used, and partly due to controversy within the community of scholars specializing in the field over the manner in which the term ought to be used.”1 In his book Christian Spirituality, Alister E. McGrath gives the following general definition of spirituality:
Spirituality concerns the quest for a fulfilled and authentic religious life, involving the bringing together of the ideas of that religion and the whole experience of living on the basis of and within the scope of that religion.2
His definition implies that the term spirituality cannot be restricted to mean the spirituality of adherents of historic, normative religion but must include the spirituality of the adherents of folk religion as...
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