The Meaning of 'Spiritual Education'

  • Hand M
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‘The analytical philosophy of spiritual education,’ wrote David Carr in the pages of this journal in 1995, ‘is still in a state of relative infancy and there is urgent need for some basic conceptual geography in the field.’ In a series of substantial and thought-provoking papers over the last eight years, Carr (1994; 1995; 1996a; 1996b; 1999; 2001) has attempted to meet this need. He has, in my view, been unsuccessful. Whatever else he may have achieved, he has not furnished us with an accurate map of the logical terrain occupied by the phrase ‘spiritual education’. In this paper I shall explain what I think is wrong with Carr’s analysis and make my own attempt on the logical geographical task he has set before us. The assumption I share with Carr is that the question of the meaning of ‘spiritual education’ is one to which the logical geographer has something useful to contribute. Since this assumption is by no means self-evident, we might profitably begin by exerting a little pressure on it.

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  • Michael Hand

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