Beyond Narcissism: Holistic Spirituality, Political Engagement and Social Transformations

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:00
Oral Presentation
Mar GRIERA, ISOR, Investigacions en Sociologia de la Religió, Department of Sociology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès), Spain
Anna CLOT-GARRELL, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Holistic spirituality has traditionally been characterized as belonging to the individual private sphere, and anchored in the growth of narcissistic individualism. However, recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments point to go beyond the dualities individual versus collective, private versus public when approaching to holistic spirituality. The objective of this presentation is to explore expressions of the "engaged" dimension of holistic spirituality by paying special attention to the interplay between spirituality and social and political engagement. We aim to look at the development of an holistic theodicy that while makes intelligible the origins and the nature of the social world, becomes a driving force for social action. The presentation draws on the results of a research on holistic spiritualities in Barcelona. Particularly, we focus on two case studies: the case of meditation encounters that are regularly organized in Barcelona’s public spaces in order to promote local and global change, and the case of yoga courses taught by volunteers in penitentiary centers.