We want the good life now
Insights from lived religion for a whole person and communal approach to salvation in the twenty-first century
Keywords:lived religion, salvation, secularism, human flourishing, embodiment, religious experience
While late-modern people in contemporary western societies may be curious about salvation and have questions regarding the hereafter, they clearly long to achieve human flourishing here and now. To obtain this goal, special prominence is given to the affective dimension, embodied spiritual practices and personal experiences. At the same time, the Church in the west continues to insist on prioritizing cognitive word-based pedagogies and offers merely a marginal emphasis on experiential bodily participation. This strategy that highlights content over purpose has largely resulted in a diminished impact considering the significantly changed religious landscape. Consequently, this paper intends to offer relevant insights from lived religion with its explicit emphasis on enacted theology as a communal source for catechetical instruction and the whole-body prioritization for a salvific encounter with God. Reflecting on these important aspects contributes to a more contextual and holistic understanding of how the Church can promote the good life now, while increasing its practical effectiveness in its traditional proclamation of God’s salvation for the world.
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