“Spiritual but not Religious” and the American Religion


Fr. Kimel reflects on American Religion:

Eclectic Orthodoxy

After reading Scot McKnight’s recent blog on “The Theology of the Spiritual But Not Religious,” I was reminded of a book that I read many years ago but had almost completely forgotten: The American Religion by Harold Bloom. Bloom’s thesis is that American religiosity has long been gnostic at its core rather than Christian. He defines gnosticism as belief in the divinity of self: “The self is the truth, and there is a spark at its center that is best and oldest, being the God within.”

Is any poem more American than Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”?

I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touched from,
The scent of these armpits aroma finer than prayer,
This head…

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About Father Gregory

I am an Anglican Catholic Priest, currently residing in Orvelte, the Netherlands.
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