Michael Lerner is a rabbi, editor of Tikkun magazine, and an activist who has been involved in social movements for 35 years. This follow-up to The Politics of Meaning is his opus magnum — a grand vision of an "Emancipatory Spirituality that could actually heal our planet and bring us to the kind of trusting, sharing world that so many want but don't believe is possible." He sees this movement as an answer to American society's spiritual crisis, which he defines as "a deprivation of meaning and purpose in every aspect of daily life."

What are signs of this breakdown? Lerner discusses the dire effects of science without ethical vision, the idols of the marketplace, globalization and the web, the psychodynamics of selfishness in consumerism, the pervasive abuse of drugs and alcohol, the relationship supermarket, and families in trouble.

He calls for a new environmentalism that speaks to a higher spiritual consciousness as an alternative to unrestrained corporate globalization. He sees Emancipatory Spirituality as a counter balance to religious fundamentalism with its search-and-destroy mode. It also offers a path beyond "the ideologues of the status quo" who assume that the dynamic energy of the markets will magically transform the world.

Gathering momentum, Lerner presents his ideas on the respiritualization of work and the professions. He envisions a medical system that emphasizes the spiritual dimension of healing; a legal system that eliminates the adversarial pose; and an educational system that puts the accent on awe, wonder, love, caring, cooperation, toleration, and diversity.

In the closing pages of Spirit Matters, the author outlines a Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, sets forward his ideas on a new political party, and presents his efforts to create a network of spiritually oriented professionals from all walks of life to work together on the daring project outlined in this book.