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In Morocco, symposium explores religion, spirituality and education

A TIO Report

Marrakech Gathering Explores Spiritual Education

Baha'i World News Service, March 2, 2012

MARRAKECH, Morocco — What is spirituality? How can religious education encourage it? And what role do both religion and spirituality play in fostering human well-being?

Those were among the questions considered by educators, academics and theologians from the world's religions – including the Baha'i Faith – at the "International Symposium on Religion, Spirituality, and Education for Human Flourishing," held here 24-26 February.

The event – co-convened by the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace (GHFP) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – encouraged discussion about how young people can be better educated about religion and spirituality, in order to address such present-day issues as economic injustice and environmental degradation.

"The world today is facing a series of unprecedented challenges," said Scherto Gill, secretary general of GHFP and convener of the symposium. "At the same time, we are also faced with tremendous opportunities, where humans can unite and live together in global solidarity with each other, within a greater global community that works towards the common good."

To meet such challenges and maximize opportunities, she said, the world needs to redefine its concept of "human flourishing" away from a purely economic growth model to one that includes concepts of justice, spirituality and an understanding of wider community.

"Meaning, connectedness, and moral ethics are derived from the spiritual dimension of being human," said Dr. Gill. "So there is a pressing need to educate in order to develop a deeper awareness of the spiritual dimensions of our lives." …