The Spiritual Side of #OccupyWallStreet

By the Web Editors 10-10-2011

USA Today's religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman has a great post this morning looking at coverage of the spiritual import of the #OccupyWallStreet protests from the perspective of several religious commentators, including Catholic writer/professor Tom Beaudoin and Jewish writer/actor Jake Goodman.

She writes:

As Occupy Wall Street protests head into a new week, religion journal writers are theorizing on the spiritual side of the movement.

At the Jesuit magazine America, Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, compared the protests to religious rituals:

"... when they embody visions of a possible future that influence the larger social imagination, and when they sculpt the desires of the protestors themselves for the better. In these ways, resistance can become symbolic action, protests become like religious ritual -- and in those ways, even more important."

Sunday, Beaudoin was back at America's In All Things blog musing on a Catholic version of Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring -- a non-violent revolt by believers in the churches, instead of the streets, to express "their passion for and grievances with their own church."

... At the monthly Jewish journal Sh'ma, the new online Sblog looks at social justice dimension of the religious requirement to give "tzedakah" -- to care for the poor and needy while maintaining their dignity and self-esteem.

Jake Goodman, an activist, Jewish educator and actor, sees these protesters as contemporary philanthopists who

"... choose to limit the amount of money and creature comforts they could have so that they can fully commit to engaging in work that transforms some part of their ethical ideal into tangible reality. They have a deep love of humanity."

Read Grossman's full report HERE.

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