Karl Peters

Karl E Peters

Spiritual Transformations: Science, Religion, and Human Becoming.

2008. Fortress Press.  $11.95

This is a great book. Probably one of the best I have read all year.

Peters is a retired professor of Philosophy and Religion, and co-editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. I first met him through the Journal in 1972. His only other book is called Dancing with the Sacred.

Small in both size and number of pages (150), Peters sets out to explore “those spiritual transformations that shape and reshape who we are and our relationships with other human beings, the rest of our world, and the sacred” in 10 easy-to-read chapters – Crossings, Passages, Rebirth, Callings, Events of Grace – are just some of the metaphors/titles.

Each chapter is shaped by a Reading (non-Biblical) followed by a Reflection. They were originally chapel reflections as part of an Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) conference in 2005, on Star Island. They have been expanded for publication.

For Peters, spiritual transformations are not something opposed to the material (dualistic thinking), neither are they independent of our ordinary life. They are about continually becoming, the becoming of ourselves, our relationships with others, with the sacred… “those transformations that occur when we are caught up in the creative process that continually transforms the world to produce new relationships of mutual support – new systems of existence, life, and  human society”.

Here is a great book written for 21st century folk, who want a spirituality suitable for such.