Spiritualise: cultivating spiritual sensibility to address 21st century challenges - RSA

Spiritualise: cultivating spiritual sensibility to address 21st century challenges


  • Arts and culture
  • Democracy and governance

Spiritualise is a tenacious inquiry into the philosophical coherence, scientific grounding and cultural relevance of spiritual perspectives, experiences and practices.

The first edition wasthe culmination of a two-year project at the RSA in London involving over three hundred participants including atheists, agnostics, and people of various faiths.

This second edition includes an extended new preface and an additional chapter focussed on the relationship between spiritual sensibility and political imagination. The booklet is written by Dr Jonathan Rowson, formerly Director of the Social Brain Centre at the RSA, and now Director of Perspectiva – a new research institute that examines the relationship between complex global challenges and the inner lives of human beings.

Feedback on the first edition:

“One of the most sensible and sincere documents ever written in the field.” – Professor David Tacey, author of The Spirituality Revolution (2004) and Religion as Metaphor(2015)

“…Gave permission to take Spirituality more seriously.” - Professor Linda Woodhead, Director, Institute for Social Futures, University of Lancaster.

“…Invites readers as participants to imagine and create radical futures around a new conception of being and becoming human.” – Professor Indy Johar

“Spiritualise contains a deep challenge for those working in and for governments, to ground our thinking in what really matters to people.” Ken Thomson, Director-General, Scottish Government

“Jonathan’s work on spirituality landed a long overdue and widely called-for intellectual inquiry.” – Indra Adnan, Psychotherapist and co-initiator of The Alternative, UK

“Rich and provocative…attempts to reimagine ‘the spiritual’ and its central importance to human identity and existence.” Professor Philip Sheldrake, author of Spirituality: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2014).

“It is a rare claim to suggest that reading a think tank output might change the way you think about yourself and reality, but in this case it just might.” – Matthew Taylor, FAcSS, RSA Chief Executive and former advisor to the UK Prime Minister. 


The RSA published the first edition of Spiritualise in December 2014



Picture of Dr Jonathan Rowson
Director, Perspectiva