Calling in Today’s World
Voices from Eight Faith Perspectives
Author(s): Kathleen A. Cahalan & Douglas J. Schuurman
Calling and vocation, though known Christian themes recur in world religious literature and liturgy. In most world faiths, the idea of calling plays a central role in shaping the believer’s understanding of life and his relation with the Ultimate. Historically, in the sixteenth century, Protestant reformers were convinced that their God was calling them in every aspect of their worldly life, at work, at home, in the market place, as well as in church. Life was not, as it were, divided into two visible and incompatible compartments, the secular and the sacred, or the holy and the profane. Following Christ meant attending to the needs of others and fulfilling one’s responsibilities towards them. Vocation is primarily considered today as paid work, serving at a prestigious occupation. Calling in its origin meant finding a meaning and purpose of life and how to fulfil it by relating with God. In the present secularised world much of its spiritual connotation is marginalised. The challenge faced by the modern Christian theologian, and for that matter anyone committed to a particular faith, is how to relate calling in a secular world and make the believer experience that mundane actions and religious acts have a spiritual connotation and are interconnected through God’s calling, which is a manifestation of His gifts.....