Research in spirituality is developing within and across a number of disciplines but, because interests in spirituality cross international, cultural, subject and professional boundaries, they are often reported in publications and at conferences and meetings which do not generally cross-fertilise one another. Consequently, individuals researching spirituality tend to work in relative isolation with little opportunity for the exchange and synthesis of ideas. Doctoral students and early career researchers, in particular, can sometimes find it difficult to articulate and justify such work in settings dominated by more ‘conventional’ research. This is especially so if their own research also draws on methodological approaches that challenge existing paradigms. BASS wishes to encourage and support young researchers in the field by establishing a ‘Spirituality Support Network’.
The Aims of the Spirituality Support Network will be to:
- provide a safe forum for the critical and open minded discussion of ideas that go beyond conventional paradigms and which are often difficult to articulate in research settings that are increasingly driven by a materialistic outcomes-based rationality;
- integrate intuitive insights with rational analysis, acknowledging that spirituality can be understood viscerally and imaginally as well as cognitively;
- emphasise the importance of spiritual and holistic approaches in research and practice within academic disciplines and professional practices.
BASS is intending to:
- host a designated website space in which to display Abstracts of Completed Theses with a focus on spirituality;
- create a designated space within the members’ section of this website to enable doctoral students to post and comment on on-going work.
- set up a Twitter account @BASSpirituality, with the hashtag #BASSpirituality
An inaugural meeting to plan practical ways forward, including the possibility of other face-to-face as well as online meetings and the use of social media, will be hosted at the Third International BASS conference from 4.00-5.15pm on 19 May 2014.
If you are interested in participating in the Spirituality Support Network and/or wish to display an Abstract of your completed thesis on the BASS website, please contact Dr Cheryl Hunt.