Catholic Universities frequently seek to anchor students’ educational experience in the spiritual charism of a founding religious order. In its approach, Jesuit Education leans heavily on The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, a series of foundational reflection. As an increasing number of administrators, faculty and students come from non-Catholic traditions, religious pluralism poses a challenge. How can individuals from varied traditions find resonance with the Ignatian tradition while simultaneously feeling their own religious worldview is a valued contributor to a shared spiritual perspective? In the Western United States, Buddhism provides as an exemplary challenge. This chapter explores how the Spiritual Exercises, the experiential doorway to Jesuit spirituality, can be creatively juxtaposed with Buddhism. Although the setting is higher education, the foundational approach piloted could also be a basis for dialog in other institutional settings.
In this chapter, I will interpret the Dervish as a Dasein. Firstly, I will clarify that Dasein is Heidegger’s notion of subject whose structure of existence is temporality. Dasein is involved in the temporality of his everyday life, nevertheless has a potentiality to care the meaning of this temporal life as such. I will discuss that Heidegger’s notion of temporality offers this potentiality in a special moment of vision by virtue of Dasein’s open structure of everyday temporality. Dasein lets the continuous temporalization of temporality open to him the meaning of existence as a whole. I will argue that Dervish, contrary to the traditional interpretation, dances to feel the temporality as a continuous temporalization which is the meaning of existence as a whole. In his whirling, he lets temporality open itself from itself as an endless temporalization. I will claim that Dervish comes close to the meaning of the temporal structure of existence in his transitory mood, telvin and hears the call of the temporalization of temporality beyond spatial limits.
A spiritual epistemology is presented, in which four ways of spiritual knowing provide a tangible map for enhancing spiritual experiences and creating the conditions for a richer spiritual life. This non-denominational framework emerges out of my personal and professional experience with individuals and groups, as well as my doctoral thesis, in which I studied the effects of activities designed to facilitate spiritual knowing in adult learners. Situated in adult education theory and practice, this framework offers simple skills that can help us tap into our spiritual capacities and develop our inner spiritual guide, providing an opportunity for a spiritually guided life in collaboration with what we call Spirit, or the hidden intelligence of the universe. This has the capacity to affect the outcome of our choices, actions and relationships, transforming our personal and professional life, and providing a qualitative difference in the world. On a systemic level, it can provide a useful platform for developing new and sustainable ecological, economic and social structures.
Emanuel Swedenborg 1688-1772 believed that he was called to reveal the internal or spiritual sense of the Bible found in the Old and New Testaments. In his new Christian religious writings, eighteen different titles, written between 1749 and 1771, he divided reality between the spiritual and natural realms, and claimed that human beings are born natural with the capacity to become spiritual. The spiritual world is the world of life, while nature is essentially dead. The task confronting every human being born into the natural world/s is to spiritually shape him or herself in preparation for eternal spiritual life. One wakes in this spiritual realm immediately after death. In this spiritual world, a person gradually becomes who he or she truly is: either a lover of God and others, or someone whose primary love is self and worldly pleasures. We create either a heaven or a hell within us, while on earth, and live with likeminded spirits after death. Swedenborg’s writings have had a broad, though under-recognized impact on modern Western culture through the arts, literature, psychology, and various social movements, such as Spiritualism in the nineteenth century. A significant distinction made in the twenty-first century is between those who identify either as a religious person or as a spiritual person. More and more people are choosing to identify themselves as spiritual. From this perspective, religion is thus viewed negatively, as collective, constraining, and rule-governed, while spirituality is defined as personal, free, and internal. This paper connects Swedenborg’s teachings and their influence to the current, twenty-first century, Western cultural emphasis on spirituality in lieu of religion.
Benjamin A. Lyons and John L. Hochheimer
The emerging discipline of Spirituality Studies has undergone sea change in recent years. Once considered incompatible with academic scholarship, the field has proliferated in terms of institutional homes and peer-reviewed journals. While spirituality remains problematic—in terms of its subject, methods, pedagogies and even foundational definitions—its emergence as a field has been robust, spanning academic approaches, geographic locales and practical applications. This paper attempts to serve as a roadmap to the field. Moving from a religious concept to a sociological theory, the study of spirituality has been re-framed as a question of human experience. Scholars have broadened their interest to secular spirituality, and changing outlooks on the human condition have been employed to make sense of modern history. If spirituality is about the process of making and expressing meaning, important new questions have arisen with the growth of communication technologies and applications. New possibilities for expression and connection have necessarily reshaped current conceptualizations of spirituality. It has been operationalised in the study of all manners of physical and mental healing. Psychologists have examined its role in aging and dementia; addiction, coping, and resilience; and even creativity and personality. Nursing, social work, palliative care, psychiatry and other professions have reexamined its potential and place in the theory, teaching and praxis. These are especially meaningful because they mark the penetration of a once mystic concept into qualitative and quantitative science. Likewise, spirituality has become entwined with the emergence of environmentalism, giving birth to spiritual ecology, in keeping with the Gaia hypothesis. A further parallel, bio-spirituality has been coined to encapsulate the beliefs of those whose spiritual beliefs integrate with their vegetarianism. Drawing broadly on spirituality and its interdisciplinary literature, this paper assesses the state of the discipline, its current directions, and moves toward both consensus and enriching diversity.
Ivo Jirásek and Pavel Veselský
Our contribution distinguishes between the terms of religiosity and spirituality in order to focus primarily on a potential research on spiritual health, stemming from the concept of non-religious spirituality. The issue of health has not been lately restricted to its physical, mental, and social dimension only; increasing scientific attention has been paid to a distinctly spiritual dimension of health as well. There are various approaches to the terminological distinction between the religious and spiritual experience, yet all available questionnaires focusing on similarly conceived research seem to provide insufficient distinction between the two. A number of questions deal with the relationship to God, prayer, or church attendance, these phenomena, however, relate to religious experience, not spirituality, which can obtain non-religious connotations, e.g. in the context of deep ecology, various humanist movements, including specific atheistic spirituality. The conclusion of our contribution brings back the key question, which is related to the possibility of finding out respondents’ opinions concerning their own spiritual health experience via a quantitative approach, that is, by collection of questionnaire data. Although the phenomenon of spirituality resists the confinement of explicit categories and strict criteria, such an attempt would constitute a contradiction in itself, contradictio in adjecto, we believe that such investigations may broaden our understanding due to their certain informative value, and that our questionnaire—along with other research methods, may contribute to an intriguing unity of opposites; coincidentia oppositorum.
The hyaku monogatari, the ‘one-hundred tales’, a parlour game created in the Edo period, 1603-1867, was initially played by samurai as a test of courage. However, it shortly spread in popularity and became common also among the lower classes. Considered a sort of lighthouse for spirits, it became very popular and the stories of ghoulish encounters narrated during the gatherings converged in a literary movement, which includes some Japanese masterpieces of all times. In the Meiji, 1868-1912, and Taishō, 1912-1924 eras, despite the wave of positivism that spread in Japan after the influence of the Western culture, well known intellectuals, like the novelists Mori Ōgai and Izumi Kyōka, as well as the ethnographer Yanagita Kunio showed great interest in hyaku monogatari. They even participated in those gothic meetings and reproduced that atmosphere in their works. If in early modern Japan the heritage of hyaku monogatari seems to be in the hands of literature, in the 1960s, manga and anime, in particular Mizuki Shigeru's, production show a special bond with the practice. On the one hand, this represents the debut of Edo-period ghost stories in the media world. On the other hand, this phenomenon can also be seen as youngsters’ rediscovery of older national traditions. The results are shown in the works of the next generation of novelists, whose most representative voice can be considered the ‘contemporary hyaku monogatari teller’ Kyōgoku Natsuhiko (b. 1963). This paper aims to analyse the fortune of hyaku monogatari during the process of modernization of the country, as well as to analyse the path trodden by the practice in order to take on its new forms in contemporary Japan.
Phil Fitzsimmons and Edie Lanphar
The aim of this chapter is to unpack the findings of an international study that sought to explore middle school student’s perceptions of the ideal school. Prior localized research suggested that this age group were more than able to articulate their understandings of what worked and what didn’t work for them in educational settings. Moreover, this research suggested that what schools needed was a connected systemic approach grounded in the precepts of spirituality as seeing beyond limitations, human formations and human instability through optimal relationships. Extending this research and then sieving the findings through a ‘responsive’ trans-disciplinary literature review, revealed that students in this age bracket require a more holistic approach to education that requires an integration of outdoor education, value development through reflective collective discovery, engagement with a chaplain-mentor, a refocusing of curriculum, complete engagement with staff and parents, and an authentic provision for student voices. In order to address the de-spiritualizing spiral of education, the model arising out of this study indicates that schools need to develop an emancipatory-holistic framework of approximative journeying. The specific elements of this approach will be presented in this chapter.
M. Caterina Mortillaro
Dance has an important role in Indian society and Hindu religion. In the Natyashastra, dance and drama were created by the Brahma in order to ‘teach the path of Virtue’ to mankind. The dances performed by the devadasi, the servants of the temple, according to the Hindu religion, had the power to balance the world, purifying it. It was a mimic art that comprised gestural, vocal and dance movements in order to narrate a myth and perform a prayer. In the last decades in India various theologians and priests have tried to introduce dance in the Christian liturgy with the same role of chants in western liturgy. Bharatanatyam is one of the dance styles that Indian Christians have transformed in order to fit into the Christian context. In fact, the mudra (positions of the hands) and many movements have been changed to represent episodes of the Bible and to perform Christian prayers. The main intent is to acculturate Christianity into Indian society. As I observed in my fieldwork in Andhra Pradesh, this project has many opponents in India and in the West. The Bishop of Gunthur, Gali Bali expressed his reservations about an art that has a strong ‘colour of Hinduism’ and cannot be decodified easily by the assembly of the faithful. Many who oppose this are afraid that the presence of beautiful girls dancing in the church could divert the attention of men away from the ritual. These are some of the reasons why dance has not been officially approved by the Vatican and has not been introduced into liturgy, but nowadays is performed only in a paraliturgical context.
Sandra Ng Siow San
Before his passing, the honourable teacher of Buddhism, Buddha Sakyamuni taught his disciples the importance of the four main pilgrimage destinations – the birthplace, the enlightenment place, the first sermon and his final resting place – and advised his disciples to visit them for spiritual encouragement. That being said, the inward pilgrimage of a Buddhist is through introspection and the discovery of one’s inner nature. The idea of travelling to a sacred place is parallel to life in the case of a Buddhist, when the pilgrim’s ‘personal experience becomes an integral component of understanding or “testing” Buddhist teaching.’ From the Buddhist perspective, the life journey is a pilgrimage. This is observable through the pilgrimage experiences of Buddhists from Malaysia and Singapore, who are of ethnic Chinese background. Such experiences are potentially transformative in relation to their religious and/or spiritual wellbeing. For the purpose of this essay, I will privilege selected narratives out of a total of 27 in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face, audio-recorded interviews that were conducted as a method of data gathering for my postgraduate research project. Through selected narratives, I will illustrate expressions of spirituality (as compared to religiosity), as well as the sense of becoming spiritual of these Buddhist pilgrims, which are externalised through devotional acts and practices such as pilgrimages. This essay aims to contribute to an under-researched scholarship pertaining to pilgrimages in the Buddhist traditions, and the understanding of religiosity and/or spirituality of Malaysian-Chinese Buddhists.