Losing the Ego: the Awakening by Eckhart Tolle


Eckhart Tolle is a German-born resident of Canada, best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth. In 2011, he was listed by the Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world.

The Awakening (Finnish: herännäisyys or körttiläisyys) is a Lutheran religious movement in Finland which has found followers in the provinces of Savo and Ostrobothnia. The origins of the movement are in the 18th century. It has functioned inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland throughout its existence. Formerly very pietist, the movement is currently considered within mainstream Finnish Lutheranism.

Theologically, the Awakening emphasized the greatness of God, the sinfulness of man, and the insignificance of human efforts towards salvation (see monergism).

Today, the Awakening movement is widely known in Finland through an annual religious summer festival called Herättäjäjuhlat. The festival, held in July, attracts around 30,000 visitors and remains the second largest annual religious event in Finland.

The Awakening brought with it a form of the conventicle known as the seurat which consists of singing of hymns as prayer interrupted with short speeches as commentary to the prevailing mood.

The movement strictly holds on to the Lutheran theological basis of the church of Finland. However, its mission is to point of the significance of faith in the life of the individual and empower people to follow Christ. The movement strongly emphasized that faith and salvation are acts of God. Man cannot contribute towards his/her salvation. Salvation is the act of God and Holy Spirit alone according to Luther’s principle sola gratia. God is great, the human being is small. Gospel is preached on the low level amongst the people where the movement is also lived.

Religious views have been formulated primarily by the early leaders of the movement. Among them, especially Paavo Ruotsalainen’s views still continue to influence thinking. Today, herännäisyys is a moderate movement accepting the ordination of women as pastors and having a tolerant attitude toward sexual minorities. A study published in 2010 by the Finnish Church Research Centre revealed that supporters of the Awakening differ significantly from the supporters other Finnish Lutheran revival movements in their tolerant views toward e.g. sexual ethics.

Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass (Author)

The headlines are clear: religion is on the decline in America as many people leave behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us – and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.

Grounded explores this cultural turn as Bass unpacks how people are finding new spiritual ground by discovering and embracing God everywhere in the world around us—in the soil, the water, the sky, in our homes and neighborhoods, and in the global commons. Faith is no longer a matter of mountaintop experience or institutional practice; instead, people are connecting with God through the environment in which we live. Grounded guides readers through our contemporary spiritual habitat as it points out and pays attention to the ways in which people experience a God who animates creation and community.

Bass brings her understanding of the latest research and studies and her deep knowledge of history and theology to Grounded. She cites news, trends, data, and pop culture, weaves in spiritual texts and ancient traditions, and pulls it all together through stories of her own and others’ spiritual journeys. Grounded observes and reports a radical change in the way many people understand God and how they practice faith. In doing so, Bass invites readers to join this emerging spiritual revolution, find a revitalized expression of faith, and change the world.


Diana Butler Bass was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. For as long as she can remember, she’s been interested in spirituality, religion, history, and politics–passions she intertwines in her books and writing. She holds a Ph.D. in American religious history from Duke University. After a dozen years teaching undergraduates, she became a full-time writer, independent researcher, educator, and consultant. Her work has been cited in the national media, including TIME Magazine, USA TODAY, and the Washington Post, and she has appeared on CNN, FOX, PBS, and on NPR. For five years, she wrote a weekly feature on American religion for the New York Times syndicate. She currently writes for Huffington Post and Washington Post and is a contributing editor at Sojourners magazine.

LOOK INSIDE

The Sunday Forum: “Grounded” Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution

Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution
Join author and scholar Diana Butler Bass as she discusses her newest book, Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution. Recent studies show many people leaving behind traditional religious practices. Diana Butler Bass, a leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, argues that what appears to be a decline actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us—and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.
Diana Butler Bass specializes in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of nine books. Bass will be the preacher at the 11:15 am worship service following the Sunday Forum

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