Recovering “right brain” apophatic spirituality for the local church in mission
Keywords:Christian spirituality, Apophatic, Missional Church, Neuroscience
This article addresses missional spirituality, that is what spirituality, individual and corporate, is appropriate and fruitful in churches which seek to participate in the mission of God. The paper engages with neuroscience around how the two hemispheres of the brain, right and left offer two ways of attending to the world and Iain McGilchrist’s assertion in The Master and his Emissary that left brain attention has predominated especially in Modernity. Two Christian responses which utilise these truths about the brain are critically examined, one from an American, broadly Evangelical school of thought and the other from the Anglican Solitary, Maggie Ross. Ross’ recovery of the apophatic stream of Christian spirituality via the right brain of “Deep Mind” is preferred without dismissing other approaches. The “unintended consequences” of seeking silence before God who is, including the gift of “beholding” and how they connect to what is required of missional churches are delineated. Some brief suggestions are made as to might be done to enhance the practice of silence in local churches.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Nigel Rooms
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