Calvin on Islam by Francis Nigel Lee

By Francis Nigel Lee

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At a small Christian Science church in Seattle, our informant said, “We ’re a very spiritual church. ” Their goal, he said, is “healing, not just for ourselves, of course, but for the world. ”6 Newer arrivals on the American religious scene are adding their own traditions as well. The leader of a small Sunni Muslim mosque in Alabama said, “We ’re not trying to escape to another world, but as the Prophet indicated, [there are] regular routine spiritual principles that we inject in our daily lives, which are called the pillars of the faith.

Whenever they gather for worship or fellowship 20 . common patterns and diverse streams or learning, their efforts are shaped by organizational resources that stretch far beyond their walls. Much of what each congregation does depends on the religious work done by others, work that has been preserved and carried on by organizational actors over the years. For about a century, the market for religious products has been segmented primarily into denominational niches. To be a denomination is to be, at least in part, a producer of resources that support the educational and worship life of constituent congregations.

And the pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Seattle said that for his members “there is a lot of possibility for compromise. There’s a lot of temptation to do a lot of things. ” Concern for individual spiritual development is also prevalent outside the mainstream Christian community. The spiritual side of Judaism has become more prevalent in recent years, alongside its emphasis on traditional learning and 28 . 5 In Hartford a Conservative rabbi told us, “When we get together, there ’s a great hunger for basics and for kind of a spiritual dimension, the poetry behind the concrete action.

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