Publication 5522

Gash H. (2004) Spirituality, uncertainty and tolerance. In: Lasker G. & Hiwaki K. (eds.) Personal and spiritual development in the world of cultural diversity. Volume I. International Institute for Advanced Studies, Windsor ON: 63–68. Fulltext at
This paper outlines a constructivist framework to describe spiritual thought. Western society at present is changing rapidly, and while this development is culturally pluralist globalisation and consumerism are dominant values. In this economic context the increase of flexible and short-term contract employment, with attendant job insecurity, raises important questions about social management of the quality of work experience (V. Gash, 2004). In the context of the quality of other life experiences, I initiated a conversation at this conference in 2002 (Gash and Thompson, 2002) to explore spirituality from a constructivist perspective. That paper focused mainly on spiritual moments concerned with personal transformation, for example the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Broadening my approach here, I consider spiritual moments as epiphanies that may arise when contemplating the gap between the known and the unknown: Moments when people perceive their lack of control over events – when faith may help overcome uncertainty. We close gaps, for better or for worse, at moments where we learn. Could it be that applying this partial model of the spiritual might help to prioritise such moments in art, culture, science and education?

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