According to Giuseppe Giordan, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Padua, Italy, and Enzo Pace, Professor of Sociology and Sociology of Religion at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Padua, the process of post-secularization has redefined religion and its relationship with secularity. As a result, "the social and religious panorama of the contemporary world is changing, due to the pressures of migration, cultural diversity and religious diversity in particular."
To flesh out Giordan and Pace's premise, Emanuela Contiero begins with a look at two lay movements of revival popular in Italy and elsewhere n the world: The Neocatechumenal Way and Renewed in the Spirit. Liselotte Frisk then moves on to a Swedish study of the spiritual revolution which has taken place as people become more and more taken with everyday spirituality and respectful personal experience. Ruth Illman connects spirituality with artistic narratives.
Yong Chen's essay on the revival of Confucianism as a living tradition in 21st century China is one of the most interesting in this book. Three selections by Monica Chilese and Emanuela Contiero, Sophie-Helene Trigeaud, and Isabelle Jonveaux center on prayer. But our favorite essay in this mapping of religion and spirituality is Fatma Sundal's "Sufi Spirituality and the Code of Islam in Everyday Practice." Here we learn that Sufism is a "lived religion."
As we attempt to relocate ourselves within "the new contemporary religious landscape," this array of essays provides a diverse conceptual framework from which to get some perspective on rapidly shifting developments. "Once it has been established that under the sacred vaults of religion nothing is created and nothing is destroyed, but everything is preserved and transformed," the authors observe, "it is a matter of checking what the new connections are that are being established with the sacred in our society." We are grateful to them for bringing many of these new connections into the scope of our awareness.