What is Spirituality?

At present, the ‘What is Spirituality?’ course has eight distinct components which will, at a later date, be divided into separate courses. These components are:

  • What is Spirituality? which considers the definition of spirituality, the distinction between spirituality and religion, the classification ‘Spiritual but not religious’, and the nature of spiritual experience.
  • What is Religion? which considers the question of theology, the various arguments for the existence of God including the ‘five ways’ of St. Thomas Aquinas, the ontological argument for God’s existence, the problem of dualism in religion, and the problem of religious lassitude as expressed in the 16th century poem, ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’
  • What is Mysticism? which considers the general nature of mysticism, Sufism, Gnosticism, and Rudolph Otto’s conception of the ‘ideogram’ as a way of symbolising the holy.
  • Atheism which considers both classical and ‘New’ atheism, the inconsistent tetrad of theism, secular humanism, the Brights movement, secular spirituality, and post-modern religion.
  • Fundamentalism which considers the origin of the term ‘fundamentalism’ in Christianity, literalism when applied to¬†religious texts, and the problem of inerrancy when applied to literal interpretations of religious texts.
  • Existence as conceived¬†in scientific method and the philosophy of science, the relation of existence to essence, and the question of existence in post-modernism.
  • Essence as understood by Plato and Aristotle, the place of essence in spiritual philosophy, and the place of essence in Existentialism.
  • Spirituality and Emotion which considers the place of emotions such as anger, jealousy, envy, revenge, despair, and love in spiritual and religious experiences.

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