Jonathan Rowson on Spirituality - RSA

Jonathan Rowson on Spirituality


  • Social brain
  • Spirituality

RSA Spotlights – taking you straight to the heart of the event, highlighting our favourite moments and key talking points.

While some see spirituality as a form of psychological depth, others see philosophical confusion or an unhelpful theological relic. Some see the best of religion, free of uncomfortable doctrine; others see a lack of discipline and a loss of institutional support, community and tradition. Some see the profit motive of capitalism exploiting our restless search for wellbeing, identity and experiences; others see a deep critique of materialism in all its forms.

After a two year RSA inquiry involving a range of experts and public events, project director Dr Jonathan Rowson now proposes a framework for a post-religious spirituality that makes the spiritual less nebulous, while maintaining its inclusive ambiguity.

This new framework is based on a shift of cultural emphasis in four shared existential touchstones:

Love: from romance to rootedness
Death: from denial to confrontation
Self: from esteem to transcendence
Soul: from substance to perspective

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