Verbum et Ecclesia
versão On-line ISSN 1609-9982
KOURIE, C. Spirituality and the University. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.30, n.1, pp. 148-173. ISSN 1609-9982.
It is not often that we witness the birth of a new discipline; the academy is slow to open its doors to "newcomers". Yet, within the last few decades, we have seen the introduction of the "new" discipline of Spirituality into the revered corridors of higher education, not without some raised eye-brows from those within the established disciplines, in particular that of theology and religion. Spirituality is difficult to define and its inter-disciplinary nature does not allow for easy classification. There are diverse spiritualities, each one culture-specific, expressing its own historical, sociological, theological, linguistic and philosophical orientation. Post-patriarchal and telluric, contemporary spirituality affects all areas of society, and is a force for personal and societal transformation. The important role of the academy in this endeavour is increasingly coming to the fore. Spirituality can no longer be considered a "Cinderella" discipline; on the contrary, it has returned to its rightful place and is exerting considerable influence both within and outside the walls of the university.