Special Issue "Spiritual Exemplars"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2012).
Interests: faith development; spiritual development; spiritual exemplars; moral and religious-spiritual development; and problematic spirituality
History is filled with examples of persons exceptional for their spirituality. Lincoln, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, these and other current and historical figures are acknowledged to be spiritual exemplars not only by their own culture but also by cultures from around the world. Spiritual exemplars provide, then, a special opportunity to define and understand spiritual development in general and positive spiritual development in particular. Furthermore, the study of spiritual exemplars can shed light on important developmental issues pertaining to spirituality, in particular the issues of how humans come to integrate faith and reason and develop their own special pattern of faith while showing respect for other patterns. This special issue of Religions will provide empirical and case studies of a variety of spiritual exemplars – each demonstrating important insights into the nature of spiritual development in general. Some will be mostly known for the way they addressed issues of social justice and community-building. Others will be mostly known for the way they showed care for those in need or for the natural world. Of particular interest will be using spiritual exemplars to better understand the role of faith and noble purpose in identity and moral development. Finally, this special issue on spiritual exemplars will also include examples of “negative exemplars” or case studies of pathological faith and “spirituality gone awry” – so as to provide yet another way to understand spiritual development and the role of spirituality in great achievements, both good and bad.
Dr. W. George Scarlett