The Soul of Higher Education

Contemplative Pedagogy, Research and Institutional Life for the Twenty-first Century

Edited by:
Margaret Benefiel, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
Bo Karen Lee, Princeton Theological Seminary

A volume in the series: Advances in Workplace Spirituality: Theory, Research and Application. Editor(s): Louis W. Fry, Texas A&M University Central Texas.

Published 2019

The Soul of Higher Education: Contemplative Pedagogy, Research and Institutional Life for the Twenty-first Century contributes to an understanding of the importance and implications of a contemplative grounding for higher education. It is the sixth in a series entitled Advances in Workplace Spirituality: Theory, Research and Application, which is intended to be an authoritative and comprehensive series in the field.

This volume consists of chapters written by noted scholars from both Eastern and Western traditions that shed light on the following questions:

• What is an appropriate epistemological grounding for contemplative higher education? How dues the current dominant epistemology in higher education mitigate against contemplative teaching, learning, and research? What alternatives can be offered?

• How can a contemplative culture be nurtured in the classroom? What difference does that culture make in teaching and learning? What is the role of individual and institutional leadership in creating and sustaining this culture?

• What is contemplative research? How can the emerging field of contemplative studies fit into the twenty-first-century university?

• What can faculty and students learn from contemplative practices about how to find peace of mind in a world of higher education characterized by increasing complexity, financial pressures, and conflicts?

• What does a contemplative organizational structure look like in higher education? How can committees, faculty meetings, and administrative teams use contemplative practices to work more effectively together?

• How can contemplative decision-making processes be used in higher education? Given hierarchies, turf wars, and academics’ propensity for using argument as a weapon, is it possible to introduce contemplative practices into decision-making situations in appropriate ways?

Introduction. PART I: EPISTEMOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS. Epistemological Foundations for Contemplative Higher Education: Challenging the Dominant Paradigm, Margaret Benefiel. Contemplative Method and the Spiritual Core of Higher Education, Mary Frohlich. PART II: CONTEMPLATIVE TEACHING, LEARNING, AND RESEARCH. The Contemplative Classroom, or Learning by Heart in the Age of Google, Barbara Newman. Lectio Divina, Stephanie Paulsell. The Compassionate Christ in the Classroom: Ignatian Spiritual Reading, Bo Karen Lee. What are People For? Cultivating Connection and Challenging Self-Interest, Dan Barbezat. Transitioning Contemplative Practices From the Safety of the Classroom Into Secular Organizational Environments, André L. Delbecq. On the Emerging Field of Contemplative Studies and Its Relationship to the Study of Spirituality, Jacob Holsinger Sherman. PART III: CONTEMPLATIVE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES. “Only a Feather”: Contemplative Organizational Life, Margaret Benefiel. Maharishi University of Management: A Community for Consciousness, Dennis P. Heaton. About the Editors.