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The Spiritual Traditions of Yesterday for the Church of Tomorrow

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Thinkstock: S_Hoss

An interview with Diogenes Allen (October 17, 1932 – January 13, 2013), who advocated the Christian tradition as a rich source of spiritual nourishment at a time when many people have been turning away from tradition and showing huge interest in spirituality.

This article first appeared in our premiere issue, Fall 1998, as "The Spiritual Traditions of Yesterday for the Church of Tomorrow." The spiritual urges we see in people today must be taken seriously. There is a real hunger. But at the bottom of the New Age movement is the notion, “I want to feel better about me.” For Princeton philosopher Diogenes Allen, classical theology provides the nourishment modern seekers yearn for. I hadn’t been to Princeton in twenty years or more, but this quintessential college town seemed as quaint as I remembered. As I wove my way through its tree-lined streets, a little confused by the directions I’d been given, I wondered whether the man who wrote them would be like his town: charming, impeccable, but perhaps a step or two removed from modern realities. Diogenes Allen is a professor of theology, after all; The Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary. He’s also an ordained Presbyterian minister and a Rhodes Scholar educated at the University of Kentucky, Princeton, Oxford, and Yale. Widely considered one of the pre-eminent thinkers of our …

Deirdre Taylor was the publisher of this magazine at its inception. She wrote about social philosopher and pollster Daniel Yankelovich in the preview issue.


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