For those who are looking toward the future and are spiritually inclined, it is often difficult to find a path or practice that makes deep sense. It’s difficult to find a spiritual path that has a truly contemporary orientation—one that doesn’t compel us to embrace ancient belief structures that may no longer be relevant to our time.
As the world evolves, as knowledge grows, and as life conditions change, we change. For religion to remain relevant and effective as a source of spiritual guidance and support for billions of people, it too must change.
Today, the world’s great religions find themselves at a critical juncture. Adhering to values and beliefs that are often thousands of years old, they are finding it increasingly difficult to provide the spiritual guidance and moral authority necessary to face the challenges of modern society. So the question is: Can the great religious traditions of the world reinvent themselves in order to address the needs and hopes of a complex, materialistic, and increasingly secular twenty-first-century world?
Peter Savastano said "Part of the problem is that religious authorities, unable to appreciate the value of metaphor, allegory and symbol, insist on literal and historicist interpretations of doctrine and dogma. For example, within my own tradition as much as I marvel at the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, I simply have no personal experience of One God in Three Distinct Persons, even though I spend a great deal of time meditating on the Trinity in my own personal spiritual life. As one Catholic priest friend recently put it, 'The Trinity. That was a fourth-century answer to a fourth-century problem'".
"I encounter more and more people who identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” What exactly does this category of self-identity mean? Perhaps anthropology can offer some clues. Anthropologists of religion recognize that there is a universal human capacity to wonder at the mysteries of life and death, and a need to make sense of or find meaning in the strange circumstances we find ourselves in. Drawing on the insights of the anthropology of religion, it seems it is universally common for human beings to strive to make meaning of the mysteries of birth, life, death, and the cosmos". - Savastano reflected.
The religious landscape of the future is likely to see a greater capacity for ambiguity. Along with globalization and rapid technological advancement comes increasing complexity. As a result of this complexity the human capacity for spirituality can no longer be met now or in the future by a one-size-fits-all approach to religion.