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Voices of a New America



Exploring the question, "Are you religious or are you spiritual?" we present perspectives from Christopher Reeve, Jane Schuman, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Garrison Keillor, Cynthia Ginsburg, and Alice Fisher.

This article appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of Spirituality & Health. “God is love — whether or not you actually believe in God.” Christopher Reeve, director/activist Christopher Reeve attended a Presbyterian church during his youth "mostly to sing in the choir" but the anti religious attitude of his distant yet adored father turned him away from organized religion. After a serious riding accident, however, Reeve wrote that he needed to "evolve to higher thoughts. I have to develop a relationship with God right now; otherwise I'm lost." At first, Reeve attempted to pray, but that proved difficult and he often felt "phony." Then he realized something: "Whether or not there is a God is not so important. Spirituality itself, the belief that there is something greater than ourselves, is enough." Now a director and an eloquent activist for people with disabilities, Reeve, and his wife, Dana, who was raised a Catholic, agree that, in their view, God does not cause disasters. "But where God comes in, where grace enters, is in the strength you find to deal with it. You may not know …

Katherine Kurs is a writer, lecturer, retreat leader, and a NYC-based spiritual counselor. She is also a professor of religious studies at Lang College/The New School University and at The General Theological Seminary, and ecumenical associate minister at West Park Church in New York City. Her book, Searching for Your Soul (Schocken/Random House), a collection of personal stories of spiritual discovery, was named one of the best spirituality books of 1999 by Publisher's Weekly. She can be contacted via her website. (2001)

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