Discernment might be said to be a process of searching for meaning in the light of an (un)
articulated Absolute. This search takes place in the tension between the private and public
spheres of life, mostly mitigated by a community. Intermediate communities, such as churches
or social movements, construct symbolic spirituality systems for its adherers to search
for meaning in the light of an (un)articulated Absolute. The urban events of Occupy Wall
Street and Tahrir Square also step into the tension between the public and private spheres
of life, creating a (temporary) symbolic spirituality system for its adherers. These events
were attempts to construct alternatives to the meta-narrative of global market capitalism. As
events attempting to symbolise an urban spirituality, Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street
dissipated rapidly, effecting rather little change at the heart of global market capitalism. This
article theorises a possible reason for these urban spiritualities’ dissipation, namely an overlap
with global market capitalism’s idols of instant gratification and technology.
INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS : Viewing Occupy Walls Street and Tahrir Square as symbolic
systems of spirituality further strengthens theological urban discourse whilst adding weight
to viewing mass movements as spiritualities attempting discernment.