Spirituality, Religion and Organization

Bell, Emma and Taylor, Scott (2015). Spirituality, Religion and Organization. In: Mir, Raza; Wilmott, Hugh and Greenwood, Michelle eds. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy in Organization Studies. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 550–558.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203795248

URL: http://www.tandfebooks.com/isbn/9780203795248


Spirituality is a term associated with the diffusion of the sacred across the public sphere, into contexts traditionally seen as secular, including work organizations. Interest in this topic has increased over the past decade and a half, and has encouraged a more fluid, dynamic understanding of religious practice and meaning. The rise of spirituality is associated with declining institutional religious participation in Western European countries, including the UK, but not in the US where high levels of church attendance continue (Davie, 1994: Beckford, 1992). It is also associated with the cultural spread of Eastern belief systems in Western societies (Campbell, 2007), a trend which is aligned with the countercultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This has led to the growth of the New Age movement which draws on various, especially non-Western, religious practices and emphasizes individual spiritual discovery through self-expression and realization of inner being (Heelas, 1996). Sprituality can therefore be seen as a feature of the cultural post-secular turn (McLennan, 2007, 2010), an aspect of religious revivalism promoted by contemporary globalization (Robertson and Garrett, 1991), and evidence of unorthodox, transient or "liquid religion" (Turner, 2011).

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