jueves, 3 de marzo de 2011

The rising global spirituality and sustainability

Methods

The rising culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality: A sociological study of potentials and pitfalls for sustainable developmentstar, open

Annick Hedlund-de Wittlow asterisk, a, E-mail The Corresponding Author

a Institute for Environmental Studies, Environmental Policy Analysis, Free University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 29 November 2010;
revised 23 January 2011;
accepted 25 January 2011.
Available online 25 February 2011.

Abstract

Several social scientists claim that the rise of the culture of contemporary spirituality is a pivotal part of the gradual but profound change taking place in the Western worldview, both reflecting the larger cultural development, as well as giving shape and direction to it. Its emergence is therefore not to be neglected in attempts to create a more sustainable society. The aim of this study is to generate insight into the culture and worldview of contemporary spirituality and explore its potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development. An investigation of the sociological literature on the so-called “New Age” phenomenon results in a delineation and overview of these and shows that this culture is both a potentially promising force, as well as a phenomenon posing specific risks. A structural–developmental understanding is introduced in order to be able to distinguish between regressive and progressive tendencies in this culture, and comprehend the deeper logic behind the observed potentials and pitfalls. This may serve to facilitate the actualization of the culture's potentials while mitigating its pitfalls, and in that way contribute to the timely challenge of creating a more sustainable society.

Research Highlights

► Contemporary spirituality holds potentials and pitfalls for sustainable development. ► A delineation and overview of these is provided. ► A structural–developmental perspective on the culture is introduced. ► This serves to distinguish regressive from progressive tendencies in the culture. ► This may support the actualization of the potentials while mitigating the pitfalls.

Keywords: Contemporary spirituality; Cultural change; Worldviews; Environmental behavior; Sustainable development; Developmental psychology

Article Outline

1.
Introduction
2.
Literature Review: An Exploration of Potentials and Pitfalls
2.1. Exploration of the Potentials of Contemporary Spirituality for Sustainable Development
2.2. Exploration of the Pitfalls of Contemporary Spirituality for Sustainable Development
3.
Discussion: A Developmental Perspective on Contemporary Spirituality
4.
Conclusion
Acknowledgements
References

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