International Handbook of Spirituality and Society

Laszlo Zsolnai and Bernadette Flanagan develop the International Handbook of Spirituality and Society for Routledge. The Handbook aims to summarize the most important issues and problems  of spiritually-related activities in different fields of social life. Also, it presents approaches and models for  professions working in these domains.  

Spirituality is apparently present in almost every sphere and aspect of social life, especially in the context of crises and vulnerabilities. Spirituality appears in our dealing with nature, home and community, healing, economics and business, knowledge, and education. Professions related to these fields are trying to integrate the spiritual aspect in their underlying theories, working models and practices. The “spiritualization” of the professions includes ecology, agriculture, landscape and urban planning, gardening, tourism, psychological counseling, pastoral care, social work, medicine, nursing, economics, business, law, politics, science, art, technology, architecture, design, fashion, media, and education.


Professional associations are growing to make spirituality a vital perspective in their functioning. Examples include the British Association for the Study of Spirituality, the European SPES Institute, the Management, Spirituality and Religion Interest Group of the Academy of Management in the USA, and the Spirituality, Leadership & Management Network  in Australia.

Essays in the Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality and Society include

The Psychology of Spirituality and Religion (Ralph W. Hood, Jr., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA)

Spirituality and Philosophy (David Rousseau, Centre for Systems Philosophy, Surrey, UK)

Spirituality and Theology (Thomas Dienberg, Munster Institute of Franciscan Theology, Germany)

Spirituality and Culture  (Imre Lazar, Karoly Gaspar University of Reformed Church, Budapest, Hungary)

Spirituality and Transpersonalism  (B Les Lancaster and Ellis H Linders, The Alef Trust and Liverpool John Moores University, UK)

Spirituality and Emergent Research Methods (Rosemarie Anderson, Sofia University, Palo Alto, USA and Jacqueline Linder, City University in Edmonton, Canada)

Spirituality and Ecology (Elizabeth Allison, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, USA)

Spirituality and Agriculture  (John E. Ikerd, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA)

Spirituality and Water (Gary Chamberlain, Seattle University, USA) 

Spirituality and Landscape Planning (C.C. Konijnendijk, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)

Spirituality and Cities (Brian R. Sinclair, University of Calgary, Canada)

Spirituality and Tourism (Gregory Willson, Edith Cowan University, Australia and  Alison McIntosh, AUT University, Auckland, New Zeeland)

Spirituality and Birth (Susan Crowther, University of Aberdeen, UK)

Spirituality and Childhood (Adrian-Mario Gellel, University of Malta, Malta)

Spirituality, Marriage and Family  (Peter Jankowski, Bethel University, USA)

Spirituality and Gender  (Anna Fedele, Lisbon University Institute, Portugal)

Spirituality and Aging (Alexandria R. Ebert and Susan H. McFadden, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, USA)

Spirituality and Sport (Simon Robinson, Leeds University, UK)

Spirituality and Disability (György Könczei and Anikó Sándor, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)

Spirituality and Homelessness  (Jill Snodgrass, Loyola University, Maryland, USA)

Spirituality and Social Work (Beth R. Crisp, Deakin University, Australia)

Spirituality and Interculturality (Daniel Hauge, David Paine, Elizabeth G. Ruffing and Steven Sandage, Boston University, USA)

Spirituality and Medicine (Athar Yawar, University College London, UK)

Spirituality and Nursing (Sandhya Chandramohan and R. Bhagwan, KwaZulu-Natal College of Nursing, South Africa)

Spirituality and Mental Health (Rachel J. Cullinan, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust and Christopher C.H. Cook, Durham University, UK)

Spirituality and Dementia  (Peter Kevern, Staffordshire University, UK)

Spirituality and Addiction (Paramabandhu Groves, Camden and Islington NHS Trust, UK)

Spirituality in Economics and Business (Luk Bouckaert, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and Laszlo Zsolnai, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary)

Spirituality and International Development (Carlos Hoevel, Catholic University of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Spirituality and the Workplace (Carole L. Jurkiewicz, University of Massachusetts, Boston and Robert A. Giacalone, University of Denver, USA)

Spirituality in Management Development (Katalin Illes, University of Westminster, London, UK) 

Spirituality and Leadership (Margaret Benefiel, Shalem Institute, Washington, D.C., USA and Michelle Abbott, Executive Soul Ltd., Washington, D.C., USA) 

Spirituality and Law (Daniel Deak, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary) 

Spirituality and Politics (Wolfgang Palaver, University of Innsbruck, Austria) 

Spirituality and Policing (Jonathan Smith, Salmon Personal Development Ltd. Devon, UK and  and Ginger Charles, Saybrook University, San Francisco, USA) 

Spirituality and Social Activism  (Alastair McIntosh, University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow, and  Matt Carmichael, Glasgow, UK)

Spirituality and Peace (Tilman Bauer, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland)  

Spirituality and Science  (Peter Pruzan, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, India) 

Spirituality and Design  (Stuart Walker, Lancaster University, UK) 

Spirituality and Architecture (Thomas Barrie, North Carolina State University, Raleigh  and Julio Bermudez, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC., USA) 

Spirituality and Fashion (Doirean Wilson, Middlesex University, London, UK) 

Spirituality and Literature (Rita Ghesquière, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) 

Spirituality and Visual Arts  (James McCullough, Lindenwood University, USA) 

Spirituality and Music  (Marcel Cobussen, Leiden University, The Netherlands) 

Spirituality and Theatre (Edmund B Lingan, The University of Toledo, USA) 

Spirituality in Movies (Kenneth R. Morefield, Champbell University, Buies Creek, USA) 

Spirituality and Dancing (Celeste Snowber, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada) 

Spirituality and Martial Arts  (Henk Oosterling, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands) 

Spirituality in Journalism  (Mark Pearson, Griffith University, Australia) 

Spirituality in Cyberspace (Paola Di Maio, Palpung Sherabling Institute of Higher Buddhist Studies, India) 

Spirituality and Education (Bernadette Flanagan, Waterford Institute of Technology and and Michael O’Sullivan, Spirituality Institute for Research and Education, Dublin, Ireland)

In our Handbook spirituality is understood as personal (and collective) experience and value orientation which transcend ego-centeredness and embrace wholeness and oneness. Spirituality implies less emphasis on materialistic values such as money, possessions, image, and status, and more focus on non-materialistic values of happiness, compassion, self-realization, and interconnectedness. The essays of the Handbook show that spiritually grounded social practices can lead to better and more satisfying results than practices exercised on purely materialistic basis. Spirituality does not deny the importance of the material world and the material part of human existence but prioritizes the spiritual over the material. The primacy of the spiritual may catalyze substantial renewal of social practices which brings the hope of a more ecological, happier and peaceful being and functioning.