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Religions 2019, 10(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020081

Thinking Spirituality Differently: Michel Foucault on Spiritual Self-Practices, Counter-Conducts, and Power-Knowledge Constellations

Titus Brandsma Institute/Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Transformation in Contemporary World)
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Abstract

In contemporary debates on the so-called “return of religion” in new forms and practices of spirituality, the spiritual practices are often seen as emerging on the ruins of a fragmented and outdated religious tradition. In this article an attempt is made to conceptualize spirituality beyond the religion-secularization divide. An alternative perspective on spirituality is developed through a reading of Michel Foucault’s writings and lectures on spiritual practices in antique philosophy and in Christianity. In this perspective the modalities of individual spiritual practices are largely dependent on interactions with dominant power-knowledge regimes and problematizations of individual lives. This article argues that this perspective on the spiritual practices in the West has the potential of making a valuable contribution to interpretations of present-day spirituality and lived religiosity. View Full-Text
Keywords: foucault; spirituality; religion; counter-conduct; self-practice; hermeneutics of the subject foucault; spirituality; religion; counter-conduct; self-practice; hermeneutics of the subject
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Westerink, H. Thinking Spirituality Differently: Michel Foucault on Spiritual Self-Practices, Counter-Conducts, and Power-Knowledge Constellations. Religions 2019, 10, 81.

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