Paul writes – Philip Hughes has been cropping up a bit lately. The very good ABC Religion and Ethics page features a reflection by Hughes – Dissatisfaction and the Shape of Australian Spirituality, while The Spirit of Things on ABC Radio National features an interview with Hughes. You can find the interview here, and the reflection (noted above) here.
Here’s the blurb:
“Today only 55% of Australians describe themselves as religious or spiritual, but the most passionate advocates of Atheism are older males. Dr. Philip Hughes' recent review of Christian ministry in Australia, Shaping Australia's Spirituality, reveals the importance of values like compassion, and the decline of religion as a mark of identity. In New Zealand David Hines, a Methodist lay preacher, has written Jesus was a Psychologist, to help 'secular Christians' like himself.”
Meantime, here’s an excerpt from Dissatisfaction and the Shape of Australian Spirituality:
“Australia is a good place to live. It is well ordered. The basic needs of most people are met. There is employment for most people. For those unable to work, there is a good range of social services. There are many opportunities for entertainment, sport and culture. The large cities are highly multicultural, and, for the most part, people of different backgrounds accept each other. Yet, close to one-fifth of young people and older people say that they are hurting deep inside and they are not satisfied with their lives.
Often the immediate cause of this dissatisfaction is a breakdown in relationships. However, there are underlying problems in the nature of Australian culture itself.”