Articles on spirituality

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Increasingly, North American millennials identify as spiritual as opposed to religious. To them, part of this spirituality means being compassionate, empathetic and open-hearted. (Shutterstock)

What does it mean to be spiritual?

Millennial Canadians are identifying themselves as spiritual, but not religious. This entails the desire to develop inner knowledge and to embody the virtues of compassion, empathy and open-heartedness.
The Virgin Mary may not be able to pull Brazil out of a deep recession, but her church-sponsored house calls do wonders to ease economic malaise among participating Catholic families. Pilar Olivares/Reuters

This old Catholic ritual is giving Brazil’s economy a small boost, one Virgin Mary statuette at a time

For a century, Brazil's Catholic Church has sent holy statues out to parishioners' homes. A new study finds that these visits create a local subeconomy, benefitting families and the church.
Sports can push people to come to terms with suffering as well as success. Reuters/China Daily

Why sport is a spiritual experience – and failure can help

'Sport is my religion' isn't just a cute bumper sticker. Athletes create rituals, endure suffering and face their own mortality. Under the right circumstances, sport can be a powerful – and secular – spiritual practice.
Mysteries of the mind. Brain via www.shutterstock.com.

Oliver Sacks, the brain and God

Oliver Sacks, the celebrated neurologic storyteller who died at the end of August at age 82, once described himself as “strongly atheist by disposition.” Sacks could write sensitively about religion, including…
Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling yoga memoir. Sony Pictures

The difficult position of yoga fiction

Yoga fiction is a burgeoning genre of books that tell tales of spiritual enlightenment through an ancient Indian practice. But what happens when such practices are severed from their cultural roots?
There is not a female figure on Game of Thrones who does not have a medieval counterpart. © Home Box Office, Inc.

Game of Thrones and the fluid world of medieval gender

Game of Thrones never even approaches the slippery and surprising world of gender manipulation and redefinition that existed in medieval spirituality.
Let’s not focus on what the kids aren’t learning, let’s look at what they are learning, and work from there. AAP

What sort of people do we want young Australians to be?

Among the many recommendations of the Review of the Australian Curriculum is the view that the curriculum should place “more emphasis on morals, values and spirituality”. This is a significant outcome…

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