1st Global Conference
including a guided tour of Belém and the Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon
Saturday 17th March 2018 - Sunday 18th March 2018
Spirituality and culture are closely linked. How we treat others, what and when we eat and drink, how we interact with – and transcend – the everyday world are all affected by our spiritual orientation. Our spiritual commitments may prompt us to seek social change, travel to sacred places, and follow certain rituals to put us in touch with something beyond humdrum living. We might signal our identification with a particular spiritual group by our outward appearance, and demand that our voices be heard in the corridors of power, but be acutely aware of other groups with competing ideologies that we still value as part of the broader culture.
Spirituality And ... Culture inaugurates an exciting new series of inclusive interdisciplinary projects that focus on the significance of spirituality to human living, thinking and feeling in today’s world. This event will explore the interactions between spirituality, culture and social phenomena.
Indicative themes around which the event will be structured will include (but not be limited to):
Spirituality and Food (eg fasting; Lent; Ramadan; feasting; dietary laws; kosher, halal, prohibitions; alcohol; transubstantiation; cannibalism; puja; monastic asceticism; vegetarianism; mindful eating; soul food
Spirituality and Travel (eg pilgrimages; spiritual tourism; retreats; sacred spaces; migration in a globalized economy; porous communities)
Spiritual Practices (eg belief-centred vs. practice-centred religion; changing liturgies; newer forms of worship; ‘New Age’ ‘supermarket’ of spiritual practices – crystals, angels, candles, incense, chanting, music, drumming, psychoactive drugs, dancing, sleep deprivation; exorcism; revivals, retrievals and appropriations of older styles of religion – Druidism, Kabbalah, Wahhabi, fundamentalist Christianity)
Spirituality and Social change (social justice; pacifism; enlightenment; patriarchy; polygamy; fundamentalism; feminism; euthanasia; abortion; environmental awareness; poverty; racism; penal reform; toleration of difference)
Spirituality and Education (eg secular schools and spirituality; meditation in the classroom; mindfulness; attention and distraction; Steiner, Krishnamurti etc; schools with religious ethos; madrassa; religious education versus religious training)
Spirituality and interfaith relations (eg meditation as common ground between world religions; development of a global ethic; Dalai Lama/Kung conversations; conversion and apostasy; immigration; cultural clashes involving spiritual orientation; jihad; crusades)
Spirituality and politics (eg church and state; theocracies; Hindutva; religion in the private sphere and public square; clash of secular and spiritual ideologies [such as the ‘gay cake’ incident in Northern Ireland, cow vigilantes in India]; shariah compliant banking; anti-consumerism; fundamentalist atheism; claims of indigenous peoples to sacred geographies)
Spirituality, liberation and oppression (eg transcendence as escape from misery; human rights; religious tolerance; secular intolerance of religion; discrimination; extremism; misogyny; homophobia)
Spirituality and identity (eg religious symbols – hijab, turban, cross, kippah; communities of faith, ‘Spiritual but not religious’; census categories; non-religious forms of spirituality; yoga; mindfulness; non-religious Buddhism; ‘anonymous’ Christianity.
What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And to further tickle your appetite for exploration, learning and discovery, our Lisbon 2018 event package includes personalized tours of some of the most relevant sites in the city.
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 20th October 2017. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 3rd November 2017.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 16th February 2018.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Spirituality and Culture Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
Seán Moran: email@example.com
Project Administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.