Spirituality in Society


Research line: Spirituality in Society

The research line Spirituality in Society applies the wisdom of the Christian spiritual and mystical traditions and forms of religious life to the development and innovation of educational and training activities in social organizations.

This line of research is practical-theological in nature and includes philosophical-theological, qualitative-empirical (esp. narrative) and design-oriented approaches. This means that descriptive (inventory) research into contemporary forms of spirituality and the development and innovation of an educational and formational program are complementary.

  1. Philosophical-theological and qualitative-empirical (esp. narrative) research
  2. Design-oriented research

a) Philosophical-theological and qualitative-empirical (especially narrative) research

This approach concerns research into the current meaning and relevance of the spiritual and mystical traditions in contemporary society and contemporary practices of spirituality in social organizations. It answers the question in what ways spirituality takes shape in current professional and social practices. It studies experience and meaning-giving in lived everyday spirituality.

From the research lines Sources and Foundations of Christian Spirituality (1) and Mysticism and Spirituality of the Religious Life (2), the philosophical-theological and qualitative-empirical research can adopt:

  • the attention paid to the practical sides of mysticism and spirituality of the Modern Devotion
  • the different understandings of the relationship between spirituality and lived practice in the various schools of spirituality
  • the reflection on the critical place of spirituality and mysticism in the Modern Age, and
  • the ways in which Titus Brandsma connected the philosophical-theological study of mysticism with social engagement.

The purpose of this research is to design a framework for in-company projects and innovative teaching and formation activities.

b) Design-oriented research

This approach aims to develop and innovate an educational and formational program. It creates educational and training activities and in-company projects that address current themes such as meaning, identity, moral formation, and life orientation.

Collaboration will be sought with various partners in health care and education (Stichting Carmelcollege, Verus, and others) and possibly other sectors. The fruits of these collaborations will complement the philosophical-theological and qualitative-empirical research.

Project leader: Edwin van der Zande