Relationship Between The Traditional Academic Life And A Spiritual Life

1337 Words Sep 28th, 2016 6 Pages
Several juxtapositions dominate the relationship between the traditional academic life and a spiritual life. In a time when traditional Western thought advocates a dualistic approach of either/or, the relationship of spirituality to the academic life of a university could never be more at odds. For many, the potential ambiguity of spirituality undermines the very structure and pursuit of specific truth universities hold dear; however, the study and practice of spirituality encourages academic merit and moving beyond study into application. As Sheldrake emphasizes, maintaining a creative tension between the polarized ideas in all disciplines brings about the dialectical blend of academia and spirituality. The academic life of a university often finds its role in studying dualisms and dichotomies, but the marriage of spirituality and academia allows for a dialectical conversation that truly deepens knowledge and its application.
Academia hesitates to integrate spirituality primarily due to the paradoxes held within the spiritual life itself. The rigid church and state dichotomy, combined with spirituality’s intimate ties to religion, makes the academy wary of the study of spirituality. Schneiders explains the Enlightenment and the movement toward a postmodern mindset causes the division between faith and reason to appear wider than ever before. Furthermore, Gottlieb identifies a set of spiritual paradoxes, illusions hindering objective application of spirituality. The…

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