Article: Enacting the Spiritual Self: Buddhist-Christian Identity As Participatory Action, by Duane R. Bidwell

Duane Bidwell’s essay was his contribution to a symposium on multiple religious belonging. It appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Spiritus (v. 15, n. 1, pp. 105-112). Here is an excerpt:

. . . this essay is not a history of my spiritual identity; rather, my modest intention for this Spiritus symposium is to contribute to generative conversation about religious multiplicity, highlighting some themes, concerns, and critical issues of interest to scholars of spirituality. In the process I try to model a rigorous, critical-descriptive, interpretive, and self-aware engagement of spiritual experience. More specifically, I analyze experience to suggest that Buddhist-Christian identity can result from participatory action, brought forth and sustained through an interplay of human attributes and ultimate realities. A primary goal for my work as a pastoral theologian engaged in the scholarship of spirituality is to clarify how people come to practice, experience, articulate, affirm, and sustain spiritual identities that are neither this nor that, but both-and (and maybe-more). Accounting for these processes seems vital to caring effectively and faithfully for those who experience religious multiplicity, as pastoral and spiritual caregivers are increasingly challenged to do.

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