TV show goes shopping for spirituality - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 5, 2005

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TV show goes shopping for spirituality

-05/06/05

It has often been said that superstores are the modern cathedrals of western consumer society and that shopping is its latest religion. Next week British broadcasters Channel 4 explore the relationship between consumption and the search for deeper meaning in a new programme called ëSpirituality Shopperí.

Fronted by Christian athlete Jonathan Edwards, the show follows the distinctly postmodern pilgrimage of Michaela Newton-Wright, a woman who has a rewarding job in advertising and lots of friends ñ but who also feels she has something missing in her life.

Although she describes herself as ìnot religiousî, the programme offers Ms Newton-Wright the opportunity to sample four spiritual practices from different faith traditions.

The show seeks to find out what she will learn from her search for a spiritual product to suit her tastes and lifestyle. Will it just produce a superficial boost, or will it be something that could change her life in a more substantial way?

ëSpirituality Shopperí broadcasts on Monday 6 June 2005 at 20:00. It is the latest in a succession of programmes looking at what some observers dub ësecular spiritualityí ñ the shift from traditional faiths to alternative paths that draw eclectically on both ancient and newer wisdoms.

A recent top-rating short series called ëThe Monasteryí on BBC2 TV followed the fortunes of five men, ranging from an atheist pornographer to a former Protestant paramilitary, who found their lives unexpectedly transformed in following the Benedictine monastic life.

ìIt will be interesting to compare the two programmes,î commented Ekklesia associate Simon Barrow. ìPeople living in high-pressure societies are keen to tap the spiritual riches of the ages to ease the burden of their daily grind, but they may be less willing to face up to the disciplines involved.î

ìTrue spirituality is about deep personal and social change, not just a quick life-lift,î he added. ìIt is about the mind and will as well as the heart and emotions; sacrifice before success.î

Find books now:

TV show goes shopping for spirituality

-05/06/05

It has often been said that superstores are the modern cathedrals of western consumer society and that shopping is its latest religion. Next week British broadcasters Channel 4 explore the relationship between consumption and the search for deeper meaning in a new programme called ëSpirituality Shopper'.

Fronted by Christian athlete Jonathan Edwards, the show follows the distinctly postmodern pilgrimage of Michaela Newton-Wright, a woman who has a rewarding job in advertising and lots of friends - but who also feels she has something missing in her life.

Although she describes herself as 'not religious', the programme offers Ms Newton-Wright the opportunity to sample four spiritual practices from different faith traditions.

The show seeks to find out what she will learn from her search for a spiritual product to suit her tastes and lifestyle. Will it just produce a superficial boost, or will it be something that could change her life in a more substantial way?

ëSpirituality Shopper' broadcasts on Monday 6 June 2005 at 20:00. It is the latest in a succession of programmes looking at what some observers dub ësecular spirituality' - the shift from traditional faiths to alternative paths that draw eclectically on both ancient and newer wisdoms.

A recent top-rating short series called ëThe Monastery' on BBC2 TV followed the fortunes of five men, ranging from an atheist pornographer to a former Protestant paramilitary, who found their lives unexpectedly transformed in following the Benedictine monastic life.

'It will be interesting to compare the two programmes,' commented Ekklesia associate Simon Barrow. 'People living in high-pressure societies are keen to tap the spiritual riches of the ages to ease the burden of their daily grind, but they may be less willing to face up to the disciplines involved.'

'True spirituality is about deep personal and social change, not just a quick life-lift,' he added. 'It is about the mind and will as well as the heart and emotions; sacrifice before success.'

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.