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06.10.2019 12:31 Alter: 142 days

Spirituality and Culture

Call for Papers

Theme: Spirituality and Culture
Type: 3rd Global Interdisciplinary Conference
Institution: Progressive Connexions
Location: Lisbon (Portugal)
Date: 4.–5.4.2020
Deadline: 8.11.2019

Spirituality recognises that there is more to reality than just the
material world. The intuition that our lives have meaning and are
part of something bigger is a powerful motivator for us to cultivate
our spiritual side. The mystical experiences and beliefs that arise
from this engagement can stimulate our imagination in unexpected
ways. Feelings of transcendence and awe have inspired creative
people, artists, writers and composers throughout the ages, and
continue to influence cultures around the world. Spirituality has
certainly not gone away in a hyper-connected age, but finds new modes
of expression and practice.

Spirituality and culture are closely linked. How we treat other
people, what and when we eat and drink, how we interact with – and
transcend – the everyday world are all affected by our spiritual
orientation. Our spiritual commitments may prompt us to seek social
change, travel to sacred places, and follow particular rituals to put
us in touch with something beyond everyday living. We might signal
our identification with a particular spiritual group by our outward
appearance, and hope that our conduct will improve the culture around
us in some small way. In turn, the wider culture affects  our
spiritual life, so that it’s sometimes hard to know which aspects of
our daily living are based on local customs and which are spiritual
in origin.

After the success of the first two Spirituality & … Culture
conferences, we have pleasure in inviting you to the third. It is
part of an exciting new series of inclusive interdisciplinary
projects that focus on the significance of spirituality to human
living, thinking and feeling in today’s world. This event will
explore the interactions between spirituality, culture and social
phenomena – with a view to forming an innovative interdisciplinary
publication to encourage further collaboration and discussion. We
hope that you can join us in these conversations.

Key Topics

We invite presentations from artists, caregivers, therapists,
psychologists, social workers, thought leaders, spiritual
practitioners, stake holders, medical professionals, entrepreneurs,
designers, musicians, patients, activists, journalists, policy
makers, developers, technologists, and academics from across any of
the disciplines that respond to or innovatively (re-)frame any of the
following additional core conference themes listed below:

- Spirituality and Creativity e.g. painting and sculpture inspired by
spirituality; popular culture; rappers [such as Kanye West];
literature; mass media; music; dance; theatre; opera; architecture;
festivals [including Burning Man]; spirituality in cyberspace

- Spirituality and Social Change e.g. social justice; pacifism;
enlightenment; patriarchy; polygamy; fundamentalism; feminism;
euthanasia; abortion; environmental awareness; poverty; racism; penal
reform; new rites of passage; resilience of the sensus divinitatis;
millennials filling spiritual vacuum; toleration of difference;
spirituality and LGBTQ+

- Spirituality and Politics e.g. church and state; theocracies;
Hindutva; religion in the private sphere and public square; religious
affiliation as vote-winner; clash of secular and spiritual ideologies
[such as ‘gay cake’ controversies in Northern Ireland and the USA,
cow vigilantes in India]; Shariah compliant banking;
anti-consumerism; fundamentalist atheism; claims of indigenous
peoples to sacred geographies

- Spirituality and Travel e.g. pilgrimages as spiritual living;
spiritual tourism; retreats; sacred spaces; migration in a globalised
economy; borderless spirituality; porous communities; how well do
religions ‘travel’?; nomadic and worldwide religions vs localised
beliefs; religious appropriation [including Western commodification
of Eastern wisdom]

- Spirituality, Liberation and Oppression e.g. transcendence as
escape from misery; near-death experiences; human rights; religious
tolerance; secular intolerance of religion; discrimination;
extremism; fake prophets; misogyny; homophobia

- Spirituality and Food e.g. fasting; Lent; Ramadan; feasting;
dietary laws; kosher, halal, prohibitions; alcohol;
transubstantiation; cannibalism; puja; monastic asceticism;
vegetarianism; mindful eating; soul food

- Spirituality and Education e.g. secular schools and spirituality;
meditation in the classroom; mindfulness; attention and distraction;
Steiner, Krishnamurti etc; schools with religious ethos; madrassa;
religious education versus religious training

- Spirituality and Interfaith Relations e.g. meditation as common
ground between world religions; development of a global ethic; Dalai
Lama/Hans Küng conversations; immigration; cultural clashes involving
spiritual orientation; conversion and apostasy; jihad; crusades

- Spirituality and Identity e.g. religious symbols – hijab, turban,
cross, kippah; communities of faith, ‘Spiritual but not religious’;
census categories; non-religious forms of spirituality; yoga;
mindfulness; non-religious Buddhism; ‘anonymous’ Christianity;
spiritual empaths

- Spiritual Practices e.g. newer forms of worship; McMindfulness; New
Age ‘supermarket’ of spiritualpractices – crystals, angels, candles,
incense, astrology, chanting, music, drumming, psychoactive drugs,
dancing, sleep deprivation; exorcism; revivals, retrievals and
appropriations of older styles of religion – Druidism, Wicca,
Kabbalah, Wahhabi, fundamentalist Christianity; megachurches;
shamanism; homeopathy; belief-centred vs. practice-centred religion;
changing liturgies; healing; well-being

What To Send

The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and
collaborative networking event is to bring people together and
encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of
formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances,
poster presentations, problem-solving sessions, case studies, panels,
q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as
poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and
alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster
debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward
proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we
can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable
inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research,
workshops, publications, public interest days, associations,
developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics
discussed during the meeting.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of
contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th
November 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in
advance with the Organising Chairs.

All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous
(blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the
Project Team, The Development Team and the Advisory Board. In
practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is
accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd November

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of
your contribution should be submitted by Friday 21st February 2020.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with
the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b)
affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email
address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper
presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of
proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Spirituality 3 Submission

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair
and the Project Administrator:

Seán Moran:

Len Capuli (Project Administrator):

What’s so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are
dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference
formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints.
We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of
experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops,
engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know
each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives,
all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of
our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together
professionals from all over the world and from various fields of
activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the
exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable
in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities
around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those
belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing
we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting
social change by encouraging our participants to take collective
action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and
expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research
projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such
actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform
for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project
Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are
not only about discussing how things work in the respective field,
but also about how people work in that field – what are the
struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their
line of work, what are the areas where better communication among
specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help
bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific
areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive
Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time
friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and
relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and
culture of the event.


Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and
professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should
attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to
make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal
for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and
we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel
or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and

Please send all enquiries to:

For further details and information please visit the conference web page: