Spirituality is a word that is used widely in health and wellbeing, public policy, ethical philosophy and community development, but few people seem to be able to define what it means. Traditionally, it implies connection to a world beyond, the world of spirits and souls, yet this concept has become less useful as our view of the "material" world has grown broader and more complex. So what does it mean to be "spiritual", or indeed "spiritually well", without the concept of a "spirit world"?
This is a new project for 2016, in which I will be investigating cultural attitudes towards spirituality in secular and religious contexts, and asking what spirituality might look like without the supernatural. Along the way I will be exploring spiritual and religious approaches to health and wellbeing, congregations, therapeutic models, inter-faith dialogue and the history of spiritual thinking.
There's a lot to take in, and a lot to write, so this may take a while. You can follow my thinking as it develops on my blog, and please do contact me if you want to talk about this topic or have any interesting books or projects to recommend for me.