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versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.73 no.2 Pretoria  2008


Contemporary Christian spirituality: A worldly embodiment


Hedendaagse Christelike spiritualiteit: 'n vergestalting in die wêreld



C. Kourie; T.J. Ruthenberg

Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History & Missiology, Unisa, Pretoria. E-mail:




Contemporary renascent spirituality secures for itself a motif of materiality and physical embodiment. This embodiment pertains to renascent spirituality both as lived-life experience and particularly as contemporary academic discipline. The influential sources of an embodied spirituality are to be found in spirituality's reflective self-understanding, the rich resources of the Christian tradition, the growing interest in lived Christian experience as such, and the post-Vatican II conciliatory spirit and momentum. Renascent spirituality not only accommodates and endorses embodiment and "worldly" materiality; it also realises a new wholeness and integration for Christian spirituality. While it might seem a commonplace to defend Christian spirituality's embodied, incarnational reality, it is clear that spirituality has not always been so understood, even constituting a pejorative connotation at times as something essentially detached, disembodied and inferentially dualistic. Spirituality in its revived sense holds within itself and its inherited tradition the potential to critique such disembodiment while simultaneously securing the mystery and transcendent dimension of embodied Christian living.

Key concepts: embodiment; lived-life; spirituality


Die huidige oplewing in spiritualiteit het 'n nis vir materialisme en fisiese vergestalting geskep. Hierdie beliggaming dui op 'n herlewing in spiritualiteit as 'n deurleefde ervaring en ook in die besonder, as 'n kontemporêre akademiese dissipline. Die invloedryke oorspronge van 'n beliggaamde spiritualiteit word gevind in spiritualiteit se refleksiewe selfbegrip, in die ryk bronne van die Christelike tradisie, die groeiende belangstelling in deurleefde Christelike ervaring en die versoeningsgees en stukrag van Vatikaan II. Die oplewing in spiritualiteit akkommodeer en bevestig nie net vergestalting en wêreldse materialisme nie, dit bevestig ook 'n heelheid en integrasie vir Christelike spiritualiteit. Terwyl dit algemeen aanvaarbaarvoorkom om die Christelike spiritualiteit se vergestalte, geïnkarneerde realiteit te verdedig, is dit duidelik dat Christelike spiritualiteit nie altyd só verstaan is nie. Dit het soms selfs 'n verkleinerende konnotasie gehad as iets wesenlik afsydigs, afgetrokke en gevolglik dualisties. Die "nuwe" spiritualiteit besit op sigself en in sy oorgelewerde tradisie, die potensiaal om so 'n ontliggaaming te kritiseer terwyl dit terselfdertyd die mistieke en voortreflike dimensie van die vergestalte Christelike lewe verseker.

Kernbegrippe: deurleefde ervaring; spiritualiteit; vergestalting



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