Secular Humanism, Spirituality And Mourning Rituals. A Transformational Journey Without God (full draft version)

Wim Van Moer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Abstract

Secular humanism is often associated with atheism and materialism. As
Dennett (2006) point out, materialism might be explained in one of the two
following ways: primo, the more popular (populist?) sense, denoting an attitude
that only cares for mere material possessions (i.e. money, wealth, fame) or,
secundo, as a scientific stance (i.e. the explanation of natural phenomena without
recourse to anything immaterial like the soul or God). These two approaches are
frequently mixed up, resulting in the misconception that people who do not believe
in immaterial things might as well go for whatever they can in this material world.
This, in turn leads to a cold and egotistical worldview, deprived of anything
spiritual.
In this lecture, I would like to refute those misunderstandings. Being a former
secular humanist counselor myself, I have always been astounded by the amount of
warmth, depth and even spirituality one can find within secular humanist mourning
rituals.
In specific, I would like to draw your attention to the work of the Belgian
philosopher Leo Apostel (1925-1995) who lectured and published about atheistic
spirituality. More precisely, I will demonstrate the contemporary relevance of his
ideas and theories on spirituality, atheist mourning rituals and mental health. The
basic premise will be Ton Jorna's recent apporach (2012) to spirituality as a
transformational journey through life, combined with the ideas of Marrone (1999)
and Romanoff and Terenzio (1998) on spirituality, (mourning) rituals and mental
health.
I will demonstrate that the way in which Apostel composed a secular humanist
mourning ritual can in fact be seen as a symbolic and spiritual transformational
journey, within the bigger journey that is life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpirituality in the 21st Century: Journeys beyond Entrenched Bou
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherInter-Disciplinary.net
Pages1-9
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-84888-257-7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2013
EventUnknown -
Duration: 5 Feb 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceUnknown
Period5/02/13 → …

Keywords

  • Secular humanism
  • Atheism
  • Rituals
  • Transformational journey
  • Spirituality
  • Ton Jorna
  • Leo Apostel

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