Spirituality in a Global Perspective: What Could ‘Spirituality’ Even Mean?
Inaugural Faculty Lecture By Dr. Jon Keune, November 2, 2021
The word “spirituality” may mean many different things: a Christian orientation within the world, a counter-religious mode of self cultivation, an orientalist imagination of “Eastern” cultures contrasted with the materialist West, a holistic concern in healthcare to bring a patient to wellness, and so on. Given this ambiguous word’s deep Christian and Western roots, is it even possible to think about “spirituality” on a global scale, in cultures, languages, and traditions that understand the cosmos and humans’ place in it very differently? This talk explores some pitfalls for envisioning spirituality globally and suggests ways that spirituality studies may be respectful of and even illuminated by cultural diversity.