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Spiritual Discourse in the Academy

A Globalized Indigenous Perspective

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Edited By Njoki Nathani Wane, Francis Akena Adyanga and Ahmed Ali Ilmi

Spiritual Discourse in the Academy focuses on the value of spirituality as a subjugated knowledge from globalized contexts. The book's central tenet is that spirituality is the core of one's intellectual growth and that its inclusion in education acknowledges the sum total of who we are. It not only offers strategies for transformative education, but also embraces global diversity and inclusive education for the twenty-first century.
The book also provides a detailed examination of spirituality from a global context, acknowledges the detrimental legacies of colonialism on indigenous spirituality, knowledge systems, traditional justice systems, and on indigenous peoples. Spiritual Discourse in the Academy reaches out to educators, scholars, and students who are interested in the multiple roles of spirituality in schooling and society at large. It can be used for teaching courses in spirituality, education, religious studies, and cultural studies.
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Chapter Thirteen: Chinese Spirituality: Implications for Western Educators

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   CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Chinese Spirituality: Implications for Western Educators

MINDY LEE

INTRODUCTION

As an educator, I see great potential in introducing spirituality into the classroom as a strategy for inclusive learning. Yet, the concept of spirituality is so abstract that its implementation in the classroom has continued to elude me. The advantages and perils of utilizing spirituality in the classroom are at opposite extremes. While a spiritual class has the potential of creating a holistic learning environment, it can also quickly become a contested space. Relegated to the private realms of our lives, notions of spirituality can be difficult to integrate into a public space. This is then compounded by the fact that each student has a different notion of spirituality. Therefore, the question that has become paramount in my mind is: how can we create a space where we can speak freely about beliefs without being accused of infringing on our students’ right to religious freedom? There are many ways that a discussion about spirituality can potentially be negatively conceived, and it is this worry that has caused me to question whether an authentic spiritual classroom can actually be attained.

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