Dec 31, 2014 | By

A Call for Spirituality – Marking the Transition to a Post-Secular Society

The RSA[1] has released its final report on a two-year research initiative on revitalizing spirituality to address 21st century challenges. The report provides a serious critique of secular materialism and a passionate appeal for a new, shared commitment to a universal spirituality – the existential ground which all humans share. A few interesting quotes:

  • It’s not so much that a marketised spirituality has hijacked religion, but that, while religion was looking the other way, capitalism hijacked spirituality.
  • Spirituality is not so much a unitary concept as a signpost for a range of touchstones; Our search for meaning, our sense of the sacred, the value of compassion, the experience of transcendence, the hunger for transformation.
  • It seems fair to argue that religions are the particular cultural, doctrinal and institutional expressions of human spiritual needs, which are universal.

[1] The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (http://www.thersa.org), a 260 year old non-profit organization headquartered in England, is dedicated to enriching society through ideas and action. One of their initiatives, The Social Brain, is targeted to understanding humans as a fundamentally social species and to changing the rational individual construct that helped us plan our economies and organize our societies but fails to appreciate the social context that is the defining feature of how we think, learn and behave.

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