Spirituality, spiritual sensibility and human growth

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While notions of spirituality, spiritual experience and spiritual development seem much neglected in the literature of modern analytical philosophy, such terminology continues to be current in both common usage and religious contexts. This author has previously taken issue with some recent attempts to develop (educational and other professional) conceptions of spirituality and spiritual experience as substantially independent of religious attachment. Notwithstanding this, the present paper considers whether such a ‘religiously-untethered’ notion of spirituality, spiritual experience or sensibility might yet be sustainable in terms of two key criteria: (1) as a capacity for non-instrumental perspectives on, or interpretations of, the world of ordinary experience; and (2) as a corresponding capacity to identify goals and values that transcend or are not reducible to the meeting of immediate natural or material—either individual or social—needs.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Early online date21 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2017


  • Spirituality, Religion, Virtue, Sensibility, Narrative