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Spirituality in Modern Society

Within this field of research the central question concerns the changed situation of Christian spirituality in social and professional contexts. In the fields of education, care and business there is an on-going question regarding spiritual reflection within individual practice. At the same time, the concepts and categories needed to adequately respond to this question are often lacking.

Through foundational and applied scientific research the Titus Brandsma Institute desires to actively contribute to the search for new forms in which the Christian spiritual tradition, with its various forms of expression, can offer perspectives relating to contemporary practices. How can the inspiration of the religious orders and congregations be passed on, especially in a time of secularization? And, in reality, how secular is our time? How can spirituality be understood as ‘critical practice’ (Michel de Certeau)?

Our inter-disciplinary approach supports out-of-the-box thinking; something which the Titus Brandsma Institute has been cultivating for over 50 years. The research into spirituality in modern society includes the following 3 areas:

  • Research into the place of spirituality in modern and contemporary time.
  • Research into the forms through which the inspiration of religious orders and congregations can be passed on, also in secular society.
  • Research into professional practices such as education (e.g. the Carmel College Foundation), care and business sectors.

Key publications
– Inigo Bocken, Thomas Quartier, Paul van Tongeren, Herman Westerink, Ruimte voor maatschappelijke spiritualiteit, Heeswijk (Berne Media) 2014.
– Inigo Bocken (Ed.), Spiritual Spaces. Mysticism and History in Michel de Certeau, Leuven-Parijs (Peeters) 2012.
– Herman Westerink, Verlangen en vertwijfeling. Melancholie en predestinatie in de vroege moderniteit, Amsterdam (Sjibbolet) 2014.