Spirituality and Culture
3rd Global Interdisciplinary Conference
Friday 12th March 2021 - Saturday 13th March 2021
Spirituality recognises that there is more to reality than just the material world. The intuition that our lives have meaning and are part of something bigger is a powerful motivator for us to cultivate our spiritual side. The mystical experiences and beliefs that arise from this engagement can stimulate our imagination in unexpected ways. Feelings of transcendence and awe have inspired creative people, artists, writers and composers throughout the ages, and continue to influence cultures around the world. Spirituality has certainly not gone away in a hyper-connected age, but finds new modes of expression and practice.
Spirituality and culture are closely linked. How we treat other people, what and when we eat and drink, how we interact with - and transcend - the everyday world are all affected by our spiritual orientation. Our spiritual commitments may prompt us to seek social change, travel to sacred places, and follow particular rituals to put us in touch with something beyond everyday living. We might signal our identification with a particular spiritual group by our outward appearance, and hope that our conduct will improve the culture around us in some small way. In turn, the wider culture affects our spiritual life, so that it is sometimes hard to know which aspects of our daily living are based on local customs and which are spiritual in origin.
After the success of the first two Spirituality & Culture conferences, we have pleasure in inviting you to the third. It is part of an exciting new series of inclusive interdisciplinary projects that focus on the significance of spirituality to human living, thinking and feeling in today's world. This event will explore the interactions between spirituality, culture and social phenomena - with a view to forming an innovative interdisciplinary publication to encourage further collaboration and discussion. We hope that you can join us in these conversations.
We invite presentations from artists, caregivers, therapists, psychologists, social workers, thought leaders, spiritual practitioners, stake holders, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, designers, musicians, patients, activists, journalists, policy makers, developers, technologists, and academics from across any of the disciplines that respond to or innovatively (re-)frame any of the following additional core conference themes listed below:
~ Spirituality and Creativity e.g. painting and sculpture inspired by spirituality; popular culture; rappers [such as Kanye West]; literature; mass media; music; dance; theatre; opera; architecture; festivals [including Burning Man]; spirituality in cyberspace
~ Spirituality and Social Change e.g. social justice; pacifism; enlightenment; patriarchy; polygamy; fundamentalism; feminism; euthanasia; abortion; environmental awareness; poverty; racism; penal reform; new rites of passage; resilience of the sensus divinitatis; millennials filling spiritual vacuum; toleration of difference; spirituality and LGBTQ+
~ Spirituality and Politics e.g. church and state; theocracies; Hindutva; religion in the private sphere and public square; religious affiliation as vote-winner; clash of secular and spiritual ideologies [such as "gay cake" controversies in Northern Ireland and the USA, cow vigilantes in India]; Shariah compliant banking; anti-consumerism; fundamentalist atheism; claims of indigenous peoples to sacred geographies
~ Spirituality and Travel e.g. pilgrimages as spiritual living; spiritual tourism; retreats; sacred spaces; migration in a globalised economy; borderless spirituality; porous communities; how well do religions "travel"?; nomadic and worldwide religions vs localised beliefs; religious appropriation [including Western commodification of Eastern wisdom]
~ Spirituality, Liberation and Oppression e.g. transcendence as escape from misery; near-death experiences; human rights; religious tolerance; secular intolerance of religion; discrimination; extremism; fake prophets; misogyny; homophobia
~ Spirituality and Food e.g. fasting; Lent; Ramadan; feasting; dietary laws; kosher, halal, prohibitions; alcohol; transubstantiation; cannibalism; puja; monastic asceticism; vegetarianism; mindful eating; soul food
~ Spirituality and Education e.g. secular schools and spirituality; meditation in the classroom; mindfulness; attention and distraction; Steiner, Krishnamurti etc; schools with religious ethos; madrassa; religious education versus religious training
~ Spirituality and Interfaith Relations e.g. meditation as common ground between world religions; development of a global ethic; Dalai Lama/Hans Kung conversations; immigration; cultural clashes involving spiritual orientation; conversion and apostasy; jihad; crusades
~ Spirituality and Identity e.g. religious symbols - hijab, turban, cross, kippah; communities of faith, "Spiritual but not religious"; census categories; non-religious forms of spirituality; yoga; mindfulness; non-religious Buddhism; "anonymous" Christianity; spiritual empaths
~ Spiritual Practices e.g. newer forms of worship; McMindfulness; New Age "supermarket" of spiritual practices -- crystals, angels, candles, incense, astrology, chanting, music, drumming, psychoactive drugs, dancing, sleep deprivation; exorcism; revivals, retrievals and appropriations of older styles of religion - Druidism, Wicca, Kabbalah, Wahhabi, fundamentalist Christianity; megachurches; shamanism; homeopathy; belief-centred vs. practice-centred religion; changing liturgies; healing; well-being
What To Send
The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, problem-solving sessions, case studies, panels, q&as, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.
At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 4th September 2020. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chairs.
All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team, The Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel's decision by Friday 18th September 2020.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 15th January 2021.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Spirituality 3 Submission
Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
Seán Moran: email@example.com
Len Capuli (Project Administrator): firstname.lastname@example.org
What's so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format - at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals - the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change - There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you - Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field. What are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience - When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions