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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

1. Were you raised within a particular faith? If so, do you still belong to it now? Why or why not?
2. Might the rigidity of formal religion have suited earlier eras in human history? Is it possible for religious institutions to adapt to the needs of modern humanity?
3. Have you ever felt diminished by the absence of spirituality in your own life? In what ways has this absence manifested itself?
4. Moore describes the plays of Samuel Beckett, the poetry of Rainer Marie Rilke, and the writings of C. G. Jung as “secular writings that go so deep in their reflections on human experience that I place them alongside the sacred texts” (p. 23). What are some texts that connect you to the sacred? Before now, were you aware of their importance in your spiritual life?
5. Do you agree with Moore’s practice of integrating “civic, world religious and personal holy days” (p. 34) into his own liturgical calendar? If you were to create your own personal liturgical calendar, what are some of the significant dates you would include?
6. Moore writes about his Uncle Tom, a farmer and a hard drinker who did not go to Church, but also a man whom Moore regarded as “something of a mystic … who lived in tune with the seasons and the changing sky and landscape” (p. 50). Is there someone in your own life whom you regard in a similar way?
7. Who is the most spiritual person you know? What are the qualities that define him or her?
8. In his psychotherapy practice, Moore has seen how a troubled soul can impede a person’s spiritual life. Has this happened in your own spiritual life? If so, how have you worked to heal your soul?
9. Moore believes that both erotic desire and a sensual appreciation of the world are an integral part of our relationship to the divine. Do you agree? How do they manifest themselves in your life?
10. Has reading A RELIGION OF ONE'S OWN inspired you to incorporate new spiritual practices into your life?
11. Without naming him or her, discuss someone whom you believe would deeply benefit from reading Moore’s book and why. 
12. What would you describe as the key facets of your personal religion?

A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World
by Thomas Moore