Spirituality and Politics

Roger S. Gottlieb

in Spirituality

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738748
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979349 | DOI:
Spirituality and Politics

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This chapter shows that authentic spiritual life requires political awareness and activism. Since spirituality requires morality, and modern life connects our everyday actions to people all over the world, we are obligated to engage in the struggle to make social life more rational, just, sustainable and caring. Also, and interestingly, it turns out that spiritual traditions and political ideologies and movements have a great deal to teach each other in terms of understanding the human situation; particularly, about the dual nature of human beings as both timeless and also shaped by their own historical and social situation. Specific attention is paid to a number of particular contexts, including Engaged Buddhism, feminism, the civil rights movement, and the general concept of non-violence.

Keywords: spirituality and politics; activism; historical change; feminism; non-violence; Engaged Buddhism; Martin Luther King; Gandhi; social change; justice

Chapter.  12954 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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