The Philosophy of Spirituality

Analytic, Continental and Multicultural Approaches to a New Field of Philosophy


The essays in The Philosophy of Spirituality explore a new field in philosophy. Until recently, most philosophers in the analytic and continental Western traditions treated spirituality as a religious concept. Any non-religious spirituality tended to be neglected or dismissed as irremediably vague. Here, from various philosophical and cultural perspectives, it is addressed as a subject of independent interest.

This is a philosophical response to increasing numbers of spiritual but not religious people inhabiting secular societies and the heightened interaction between a multitude of spiritual traditions in a globalized age. A provocative array of approaches (African, Indigenous, Indian, Stoic, and Sufic perspectives, as well as Western analytic and continental views) offer fresh insights, many articulated by emerging voices.

Contributors are Mariapaola Bergomi, Moses Biney, Christopher Braddock, Drew Chastain, Kerem Eksen, Nikolay Milkov, Roderick Nicholls, Jerry Piven, Heather Salazar, Eric Steinhart, Richard White, Mark Wynn and Eric Yang.

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Heather Salazar, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara. Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western New England University, USA. Publications include: “Descartes’ and Patanjali’s Conceptions of Self” (Journal of Indian Philosophy, 2014); “Kantian Business Ethics” (Business In Ethical Focus, Broadview, 2008/2017).

Roderick Nicholls, Ph.D. Queen’s University. Associate Professor of Philosophy at Cape Breton University, Canada. Publications range from: “Ghosts, God & the Problem of Dirty Hands” (Ars Disputandi, 2004) to “The Fictionality of Theatrical Performance” (Fiction and Art, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
Notes on Contributors

Roderick Nicholls and Heather Salazar

Part 1: Understanding Spirituality: Introduction

1 Renewing the Senses: Conversion Experience and the Phenomenology of the Spiritual Life
Mark Wynn
2 Spiritual Experience and Imagination
Eric Yang
3 Sinister and Sublime Aspects of Spirituality
Jerry Piven

Part 2: Spirituality across Traditions: Introduction

4 Is Yogic Enlightenment Dependent upon God?
Heather Salazar
5 Spirituality from the Margins: West African Spirituality and Aesthetics
Moses Biney
6 Non-religious Spirituality in the Greek Age of Anxiety
Mariapaola Bergomi
7 Becoming a Hollow Bone: Lakota Respect for the Sacred
Drew Chastain
8 Silence will Change the World: Kierkegaard, Derrida and Islamic Sufism
Christopher Braddock

Part 3: Critical Perspectives and Re-inventions of Spirituality

9 Self-Care and Amor Fati as a Spiritual Ideal
Roderick Nicholls
10 Bertrand Russell’s Religion without God
Nikolay Milkov
11 Truth in Practice: Foucault’s Procedural Approach to Spirituality
Kerem Eksen
12 Spirit, Soul and Self-Overcoming: A Post-Jungian View
Richard White
13 Spiritual Naturalism
Eric Steinhart

Most philosophers, a broad range of academics working in interdisciplinary areas (within the Humanities and Social Sciences), senior philosophy students, and an educated public interested in substantive explorations of spirituality.
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