Months after after her death, observers are still asking whether the mass mourning over Princess Diana’s signifies signs of spiritual stirrings or an absence of traditional religious feeling in Britain.
Quadrant (November), the newsletter of the London-based Christian Research Association, reports that many Christian leaders believe Is the mourning of DianaAmong the innumerable laments and analyses of those laments for Princess Diana, that by Frank Allen in The World & I (December, 1997) argues that the immense outburst of grief tells us something of our own spiritual impoverishment. Accepted through total media saturation as a martyr to an unfaithful husband, a haughty mother-in-law, an antiquated set of social norms, and a judgmental church, Diana was transformed into a l990s version of sainthood.
But, Allen suggests, the grieving was in fact, an indicment of Western society with its “unbridled commercialism and materialism” which demands media celebrities larger than life. These, such as Diana meet society’s need for the lack of “spiritual food” in today’s living.
Already stories of instant healing due to her presence are found in the media; a man with AIDS said he would have died in 1995 had not Diana touched him. A miraculous recovery from a coma-afflicted three year visited by Diana was attributed by his parents to her. Martyrdom ’90s style, he concludes, has taken on a new dimension, far removed from earlier martyrs in English history.
— Erling Jorstad