Contemporary Spirituality: An Introduction to Understandings in Research and Practice

  • Marian de Souza


The role of spirituality in human life has continued to receive much attention as attested to by the number of disciplines represented in this book. However, more consideration needs to be given to the impact of the dark side of spirituality in the lives of individuals and communities especially in a world characterized by issues related to globalization, materialism and religious and cultural diversity. Nurturing spirituality may be one way of promoting individual and communal wellbeing and social cohesion through self-knowledge and awareness of others. This chapter, then, serves as the introduction to the topic upon which this book is based: spirituality across disciplines. It examines the notion of spirituality as it is being used in todays’ world across a variety of disciplines. It notes that, in general, researchers tend to avoid offering a definition of the term so that some levels of ambiguity surround the concept. This, in turn, has the potential to reduce the impact of research and application and creates problems of authenticity for the discipline. Therefore, this chapter offers a rationale for investigating the concept of spirituality as it is being understood and applied across a range of disciplines to bring some clarity to various understandings so that current research studies will be better able to inform future research and practice.


Spiritual not religious Anglo-Indian Anglo-Australian Spirituality and shadow Cultural perspectives Radicalization Racism Violence Pluralism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federation UniversityBallaratAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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