On spiritual teachers and teachings

Stein, Zachary (2011) On spiritual teachers and teachings. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 6 (1). pp. 57-77. On spiritual teachers and teachings.


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This article examines the dynamics of authority in educational contexts where teachers and students engage with religious or spiritual subject matter. My aim is to offer a framework that can be used to sort "good" educational relationships of this type from "bad" ones. After positioning the spiritual teacher in the context of eclectic traditions in American moral education, I look into the structure of teacherly authority and into the dynamics of this authority when it is exercised in religious contexts. In the process I tease apart two types of teacherly authority for heuristic purposes, the Classic and the Modern. I discuss their respective liabilities, affordances, and most typical spiritual teachings. Finally, I suggest that some contemporary spiritual teachers and teachings may be harbingers of new emerging configurations of religious authority-configurations dubbed Integral. This rough triadic typology-Classic, Modern, and Integral-allows us to critically discuss the kinds of authority assumed by different types of spiritual teachers. Specifically, I use EnlightenNext (Andrew Cohen) and the Center for World Spirituality (Marc Gafni) as case studies, demonstrating how to use the framework I have developed as a way to explore preferable possibilities for the future of religion and the spiritual marketplace

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Educational Methods and Practices
Education > Educational Theory
Programs: Education
Depositing User: Zak Stein
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 19:02
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 19:02
URI: http://scholarship.meridianuniversity.edu/id/eprint/31

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