Spirituality Pluralism Progress—Planning Grant
July 1, 2017 - April 30, 2019
Core Funding Area:
Director: Bryan Thomas FroehleInstitution: St. Thomas University
This is a planning grant for a major project that aims to show how spirituality, pluralism, and progress relate to each other on a global scale.
We posit two hypotheses:
1. Spirituality is a critical component of human progress.
2. Pluralism plays a critical role in advancing spiritual development and human progress.
Several understandings underlie these hypotheses:
1. Understanding spirituality primarily in terms of religion. As such, it involves disciplines of theology and religious studies, and more, including the science of brain functioning.
2. Understanding pluralism as the diversity that is a consequence of human freedom, found especially within a relatively free civil society, and reflected in the diversity of human spiritual and religious expressions. As such, pluralism is the framework in which people encounter, adopt, and adapt spiritual insights.
3. Understanding progress as related to human flourishing in an integrated sense, including public dimensions and not limited to material aspects.
This planning grant will result in a full proposal detailing a means of rigorously testing these hypotheses about the relationship between spirituality, pluralism, and progress in diverse global contexts. Given the global nature of the research topic and intradisciplinary methodology, this requires a complex literature review. It demands a scholarly community of inquiry with innovative approaches—ready to break out of stale orthodoxies. In conjunction with crafting such a proposal, the grant will cultivate the scholarly relationships necessary to launch the eventual research project as effectively as possible.
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