Spirituality and Global Ethics
This volume addresses three fundamental questions about the interplay between the ethics of globality and spirituality: What are the practical implications of spirituality for the condition of life in a turbulent era of violent religious/non-religious extremism? In what way can spirituality, the view of love, compassion, tolerance, and mutual recognition encounter mistrust, enmity, separateness, and violence? How, and in what way, can spirituality contribute to the newly emerging global ethics?
Religious scholars distinguish between the esoteric and exoteric sides of belief systems. Esotericism centres on the inner awareness, and conceals a certain spirituality that is only transmittable to those who could successfully pass through a process of initiatic preparation and transpersonal practices to understand the mystical dimensions of existence. In contrast, exotericism takes the outer dimension of every day consciousness into account and favours the possibility of the popular understanding of the essence of existence. In this perspective, truth could be grasped by the public without the need of any transpersonal initiative and transformation of consciousness. Esotericism extends beyond religion and has become the spiritual philosophy of life without the need of being essentially religious. It has become common, notably in the West, to identify oneself as spiritualist without having religious affiliations.
The condition of globality has provided an unprecedented opportunity for spiritual perspectives to grow. Ideas, perspectives, beliefs, and philosophies of life are growing outside local/national containers to express themselves in different global settings, while the forces of globalisation are influencing local identities and cultures. While evolving global transformations strengthen people’s capability to leave institutionally ordered belief systems, it simultaneously enables them to rearrange themselves around alternative perspectives. These fundamental transformations cultivate a fabulous landscape for the growth of spirituality.
Mahmoud Masaeli is Professor of Global Ethics and International Development at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His areas of interest include globalisation and global ethics, global justice theories, recognition as justice, and modern political philosophy. Mahmoud is the founder and President of the group, Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns.
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Mahdi Fadaei Mehrabani
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