Open Learning Course
Your Course Leaders
Dr. Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University. Steve is the author of several books on psychology and spirituality,including The Fall, Making Time, Waking From Sleep and his most recent book Back to Sanity. His articles and essays have been published in over 40 academic journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, The Journal of Consciousness Studies and The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. His work has been featured widely in the media in the UK, including on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC World TV, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, Radio Five Live, and in The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Independent.
Ellis Linders has a background in Theosophy and Anthroposophy, the Qabalah of the Western Mystery Tradition and Psychosynthesis. She has an MSc in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology from Liverpool John Moores University. Her particular areas of interest and experience are spiritual emergency, the role of embodiment in spirituality, and the Sacred Feminine. She is currently doing her doctorate studies at Liverpool John Moores University on the subject of identity and self agency in contemporary spirituality.
This course covers two aspects. 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.
The second part of this option (led by Steve Taylor) examines 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’.
In this course you’ll get an opportunity to:
There are no formal entry requirements to join this course. Come and study purely for personal interest and enrichment … and get the same level access as our postgraduate students who will be studying alongside you!
Length of study: 10 weeks.
Before each course begins you will be provided with a Course Outline which will list the reading materials, time-lines, and any activities required as part of the course. This course features 2 discussion forums, experiential activities and several live webinars.
In addition to extensive course materials you’ll receive 1-to-1 tuition in our unique collaborative learning environment.
Next Start date: February 2021
This course runs for 10 weeks and starts in February of each year. You can study at your own pace and partake in the webinars and forums as much as you like.
If you would like to enrol, or request more information on our ‘Contemporary Spirituality’ course then simply complete the form below and a member of our team will contact you. We offer a unique transformational learning experience and will be here to guide you through every step of your journey with Alef Trust.