01: The summer issue of Spirituality & Health magazine devotes a special section to Chi, the Chinese spiritual teachings and practices that have attracted a large and diverse Western following.
Chi, or Qi, is the “vital energy” that is sought by groups and practices as diverse as the slow motion exercises that characterize tai chi to the persecuted Falun Gong movement. Harvard historian Anne Harrington’s article shows how Westerners are taking up qi in a quest for wholeness while China has embarked on a “Western journey” to “overcome its “feudal superstitions” by subjecting qi to scientific experiments and disavowing any of its supernatural components.
Other articles focus on the scientific attempt to dissect qi’s healing properties, and an account by Episcopalian theologian Elizabeth Koenig on how she incorporates qi in her life, giving her a greater concern for how Christianity relates to the body.
(The issue costs $4.95 and is available from Spirituality & Health, 74 Trinity Pl., New York, NY 10006-2088.)