Eighteen scholars attended the last of this year’s Zetountes Lectures, a presentation by Father Padfield entitled “Is spirituality the highest human condition?” Focussing on the American writer Ken Wilber’s “integral theory of spirituality”, which draws on the great truths of religious traditions east and west, the talk promoted a wide-ranging discussion, fittingly given that Wilber’s work attempts to integrate all fields of study into one single model or framework of understanding in what he semi-ironically calls, “A Theory of Everything”.

Looking at the nature of consciousness, psychological theories, art, postmodernism, philosophies of all kinds and ecology, and informed by references to the Classical World, economics and science, the group explored whether spirituality is a response to modern crises and whether there is room for optimism in the age of apocalyptic weapons, Covid and climate change.  This was a fascinating session which was faithful to the programme’s ambition to encourage students to question and reflect, and establish links across subjects, space and time.

We are grateful to Father Padfield for offering these insights, which engaged the pupils in a fascinating debate to bring to an end this season’s after-school gatherings.

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