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Learning to play spiritual football

Spirituality is 'like football' whereas religion is like 'the football team'. So spoke Alan, aged 36 and living in south London, in an interview which was part of The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity's research project, Beyond Belief?

Nick Spencer

Beyond Belief? looked at the barriers and bridges to faith today, interviewing 40 agnostics of various hues in London and Nottingham, and examining what it was about Christians, the Church, society, contemporary culture, or individuals themselves which deterred people from embracing, exploring or even contemplating the Christian faith. The result was a fascinating and messy mixture of hostility, ignorance, the need for hope, consumer mentalities, 'totalitolerance', scepticism, social fears, 'guerrilla morality', a pervasive sense of the numinous, the 'need for new words', and a whole host of other social trends. Central to them all was Alan's fascinating idea of 'spiritual football'.