More on a new A Level

April 16, 2014 · Posted in Blog 

If I had my way I would propose three strands to a new A Level. One would be philosophical, and I have already identified my reasons for ethics, a second would be text based, and I will come back to that. The third strand should be spiritual. Yes spiritual. By this I mean practical study of a particular spiritual tradition, be it Jesuit exercises, mindfulness meditation or zazen. Why? Wellbeing and the possibility of a lifelong set of exercises for life that will help learns face ultimate challenge and seek out some kind of balance in three selves. Like learning to play the clarinet, or learning to swim, the benefits of spiritual exercise s far outweigh, I believe, the unnecessary and largely misconstrued worries that spirituality is either not academic or is indoctrinatory.

Now before there are heckles of “that’s not RE” I am laying down my view here that it is. Praxis is praxis even where doxy is not particularly important. The obsession with belief in RE has led us to ignore the ‘doing’ of religion and those doings have long seeped beyond “the believers”. Many of the thousands of young people who visit Taizé in the summer months to experience silence and chanting are not church goers. Many of the non Of course we should acknowledge some sensitivities. There are humanists who could never practice some spiritual practices but I doubt there are many who could never undertake any spiritual practice. Students who come from conservative religious traditions could explore a spiritual practice within their own tradition.


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