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Mahatma Gandhi, neoliberalism, and the bourgeois study of spirituality
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2020 (English)In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion: A Diversity of Paradigms / [ed] Ralph W. Hood and Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Brill Academic Publishers, 2020, p. 43-62Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In psychological literature, the concept of spirituality is typically defined as something private, internal and experiential that includes meaning-making, sacred values, connectedness, and/or transcendence. Thus, spirituality is distinct from social, economic, and political spheres of human life. Most scholars who concern themselves with spirituality assume that it is a universal phenomenon that is essentially the same everywhere. But the isolation of spirituality as a sphere of life that is separated from other spheres is not a universal feature of human history. Mahatma Gandhi, who argued that spirituality is associated with political activism and the struggle for social and economic justice, illustrates this point. Spirituality is a modern concept with a specific history and what counts as spirituality and what does not depend on different configurations of power. In this paper, we explore why a category as amorphous and indeterminate as spirituality has maintained such a currency in the literature of the psychology of religion. We argue that the category of spirituality is a sociopolitical management technique for reinforcing political quietism, which is necessary for the maintenance of the neoliberal status quo.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2020. p. 43-62
Series
Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion ; 31
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
psychology of religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-177381DOI: 10.1163/9789004443969_004ISBN: 978-90-04-44396-9 (electronic)ISBN: 978-90-04-44348-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-177381DiVA, id: diva2:1507649
Available from: 2020-12-08 Created: 2020-12-08 Last updated: 2021-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, TomasSonnenschein, Hannes

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf