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From Religion to Spirituality: Lessons for Values Education

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
Author:
Lokesh Ramnath Maharajh Senior Lecturer, Curriculum & Education Studies, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal Pinetown South Africa

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2809-1771
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Abstract

This paper discusses the concepts of religion and spirituality in the context of a study on the perceptions and possibilities of the Bhagavad Gita for values education in Durban, South Africa. The ideas are explained through a model of spirituality that has been adopted from the 3H (head, heart, hands) and BMSEST (body, mind, spirit, environment, social, transcendent) models of spirituality in multicultural whole-person medicine (Anandarajah 2008). I argue for a broad and open understanding of spirituality, which I feel has the potential to extend the youth beyond religion. However, I also maintain that young people are easily influenced by material surroundings and are seen as a ‘generation of suspects’ (Giroux 2006, 149). The model that I present indicates that religious scriptures (in the case of this paper, the Bhagavad Gita) have a perennially valid set of values, which has the potential to contribute to a programme of values education among the youth. However, the youth are not abstracting and extracting these values. For the youth these values remain elusive and even ethereal.

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