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Inter-Spirituality and the Renewal of Social Practices

Bernadette Flanagan and Laszlo Zsolnai’s paper “Inter-Spirituality and the Renewal of Social Practices” was published in The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions (edited by Laszlo Zsolnai and Bernadette Flanagan, 2019, New York, Routledge, pp. 447–453).

This paper summarizes the most important messages of The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions. The main point that the authors make is that social activities and the human professions can gain a lot by employing a spiritual perspective.

Spirituality is understood as personal (and collective) experience and value orientation which transcends egocenteredness and embrace wholeness and oneness. Spirituality implies less emphasis on materialistic values such as money, possessions, image, and status, and more focus on non-materialistic values of happiness, compassion, selfrealization, and interconnectedness.

The authors emphasize that spiritually grounded social practices can lead to better and more satisfying results than practices exercised on a purely materialistic basis. Spirituality does not deny the importance of the material world and the material part of human existence but prioritizes the spiritual over the material. The primacy of the spiritual may catalyze substantial renewal of social practices which brings the hope of a more ecological, happier and peaceful being and functioning.