Philosophy of Spiritual Education - I
There has been in the U.K. during the last two decades, a good deal of discussion on the theme of spiritual education. Apart from brilliant papers by Mac Laughlin and several others, the paper by David Carr and another by Michael Hand are not only instructive but provide us with analyses of the issues and also of the phrase 'spiritual education' which can be utilized properly in developing relevant and suitable pedagogy.
David Carr examines three important conceptions of spirituality and spiritual education, the 'reductionist' or residual conceptions, "process' conceptions, and 'content' based conceptions. In regard to the Reductionist conceptions, he identifies two accounts, namely, spirituality as the sublime, and spirituality as the ineffable. The first one is related to the emphasis in contemporary thinking about spiritual experience, which focuses upon the moral, religious and aesthetic as concerned with the sublime. This he considers to be hardly more than a pious way of exalting or celebrating those aspects of human experience, which may be entirely explicable in rational terms, and he thinks that it fails to bring out the uniqueness and distinctiveness of spirituality, and, in practice, it aims at encouraging search for personal fulfillment through religious participation, or artistic creativity or to value such activities highly. In other words, it does not indicate those processes and activities, which can be distinguished distinctly as spiritual. As regards the conception of spirituality as ineffable, Carr points out that this conception refers to the experience of awe