Contemporary Spirituality covers two main areas
The first (led by tutor Ellis Linders) considers the cultural implications of the shift into secular spirituality, where self-agency and self-realisation are the spiritual focus. We will explore new spiritual expressions as a social trend, and how these fit into the tradition of Western Esotericism as a whole, and consider the moral implications around appropriation of spiritual teachings in the so-called contemporary ‘spiritual supermarket’. On a theoretical level, we’ll evaluate the spiritual models of perrenialism and the participatory approach. On a more personal level we will explore the development of spiritual identity, and critically question what a truly inclusive, unifying, and embodied spirituality means in our fractured world.
Led bu Steve Taylor, you will examine the phenomenon of spiritual awakening outside the context of spiritual or religious traditions. We look at the triggers and contexts in which it occurs, as well as at the different types of awakening, and the characteristics of the ‘wakeful’ state. We will examine temporary awakening experiences, and ‘wakefulness’ as a permanent, ongoing state. We will further discuss the close relationship between awakening and intense psychological turmoil, otherwise known as ‘spiritual emergencies’, and examine why spiritual awakening often causes disturbance and disruption and can be similar to psychosis. We will also consider the cultural – and even evolutionary – significance of ‘secular spiritual awakening’.