Why do contemporary megachurches and their gospel of individual well-being find more followers than the assemblies of the Left? And why, even as mainline churches lose their members, are yoga and Tai-Chi classes experiencing a steady growth? How does spirituality outside the walls of established religions, parties, and institutions bring people “on the move” together in new ways? The programs of Alcoholics Anonymous can be described as a spiritual mass movement with religious overtones—where does it fit?

In our effort to imagine another world beyond capitalism, we undoubtedly encounter religion and spirituality as perplexingly paradoxical and as contested sites on multiple levels. Is there a chance for progressives to claim and reframe the aspirations and energies of spiritual practices for this-worldly projects of economic democracy and social liberation? Let us try to take stock for a moment.

Whereas anticapitalist movements and liberation theologies in...

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