The Australian spirituality and community organisation Eremos will continue its 40th anniversary celebrations with the launch of a bumper edition of EREMOS Magazine at Pitt Street Uniting Church, Sydney, on 30 April.
The event, “Journeying on the edges”, will highlight the distinctive perspective of Australian spiritual and religious thinking, engagement and growth Eremos enabled from 1982 to 2023.
It will be compered by John Cleary, former ABC Religious affairs broadcaster, and will feature special guests:
- John Foulcher, EREMOS magazine editor
- Margaret Ackland, multi-award winning artist
- Linda Turton, Eremos Associate Director from 1996 to 2007
The special 40th Anniversary Edition will contain an extended selection of the most significant articles and interviews published over the past 40 years, interspersed with some of the most striking magazine covers.
Mr Foulcher, who read through past editions and selected articles for the Anniversary Edition said, “So many articles are prescient, well-written and challenging, and this issue gives us a chance to resurrect and save many articles that would have otherwise been lost in time.”
He said the Anniversary Edition was a must, not just for Eremos members but also for anyone interested in the growth of Australian spirituality during the latter part of last century and the first two decades of this one.
The magazine had opened up issues such as the roles of women, the church’s attitude to homosexuality, and the importance of the arts in contemporary theology, he said.
“The Anniversary Edition contains a wealth of insight and an overview of the development and changes to Australian spirituality. It will be a collectors’ item!”
Eremos: a beacon of intelligence on matters spiritual
Eremos describes itself as a forum where people can ask questions of meaning, doubt, faith and belief, and explore and reflect on spiritual and related issues. It is an inclusive association with its roots in Christianity, offering a forum and support for individuals and communities to explore, express and deepen their spirituality within an Australian context.
Eremos began in Sydney in 1982 as a result of friendships connected with St George’s Anglican Church in Paddington and St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Newtown.
The instigators took hold of a vision of spirituality that stood out as authentic, exploratory and profound. Eremos continues today, offering value to people looking for an informed and generous understanding of reality from a spiritual perspective.
While it originally set out to provide a kind of spirituality that was much more generous than what might be found in the average Anglican church of that day, it has since become more ecumenical and has a national membership.
Mr Foulcher said Eremos had been a beacon of intelligence on matters spiritual in Australian over the recent decades.
He said, “When Eremos formed there were a lot of people on the edge of the church, people who spiritual yearnings and who couldn’t quite reconcile themselves to the way the church was operating at large. A lot of those people were leaving and Eremos presented them with an alternative: you didn’t have to go along with that kind of orthodoxy; you could think and have religious beliefs at the same time. I think that remains its great contribution.”
He said, “We need to rescue religious and spiritual life from dogma, and I think there’s a lot of hunger for that out there.
‘Yes, the traditional churches, their influence and their narratives, are struggling and they may likely continue to do so. Yet the rich spiritual traditions underlying our institutional churches still have great appeal and relevance.
“Eremos has offered a variety of spiritual understandings, from Christian, Jewish and multi-faith perspectives, in its four decades and will continue to do so. It also has provided a forum for people’s life experiences in nature, politics, arts, world affairs and science to be broken open and shared.
“Without this exploration we will become a very empty society and, I think, a very hostile one, particularly with the big challenges that are facing humanity.”
The launch of the bumper 40th Anniversary Edition of EREMOS Magazine will take place at Pitt Street Uniting Church, Sydney, Sunday 30 April, 2pm to 4pm.
Review copies (PDF or hard copy) of the 40th Anniversary edition are available on request.