Practice, Theology and Identity at #OWS

Courtney Bender writes at The Scoop:

We could even say that occupiers’ refusal to give uncomplicated answers to the question of whether their motivations are rooted mainly in religious, secular, economic or political identities holds up a useful mirror to the very messy, complicated social and economic morass that they critique. This is another way of saying that sussing out religion in Occupy Wall Street might be  easier through attention to the origins and effects of the impulses playing out in groups that identify with the phenomenon. To the ways that they draw upon or resonate with atmospheric connections among religion, capitalism andAmerican identity.

If Wall Street is an “abstraction,” as one astute observer has put it, and the question of “how to occupy an abstraction” is being worked out as we watch, then we should ask how spirituality, one of the greatest American abstractions, is present in this working-out. It is reasonable to expect that occupiers will turn to the largely uncategorized trove of practice, theology and identity that we have often dismissed as the “spiritual”–and which might turn out to have deeper political dimensions than anyone knew.

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