Moral and Spiritual Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Moral and Spiritual Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities

1st Edition

Edited by Hans Alma, Ina ter Avest


304 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138489417
pub: 2019-01-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351037624
pub: 2019-01-17
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


In crisis situations, such as terror attacks or societal tensions caused by migration, people tend to look for explicit moral and spiritual leadership and are often inclined to vote for so-called 'strong leaders'. Is there a way to resist the temptation of the simplistic solutions that these ‘strong leader’ offer, and instead encourage constructive engagement with the complex demands of our times? This volume utilises relational and dialogical perspectives to examine and address many of the issues surrounding the moral and spiritual guidance articulated in globalizing Western societies.

The essays in this collection focus on the concept of plural moralities, understood as divergent visions on what is a 'good life', both in an ethical, aesthetical, existential, and spiritual sense. They explore the political-cultural context and consequences of plural moralities as well as discussing challenges, possibilities, risks, and dangers from the perspective of two promising relational theories: social constructionism and dialogical self theory. The overarching argument is that it is possible to constructively put in nuanced moral and spiritual guidance into complex, plural societies.

By choosing a clear theoretical focus on relational approaches to societal challenges, this interdisciplinary book provides both a broad scope and a coherent argument. It will be of great interest to scholars of social and political psychology, leadership and organization, religious studies, and pedagogy.

Table of Contents


Hans Alma and Ina ter Avest


Part I: Theoretical Perspectives

1 Toward a Relational Ethic

Kenneth J. Gergen

2 Dialogical Self Theory in a Boundary-Crossing Society

Hubert J.M. Hermans

3 Religion, Radicalism, Relativism: Between Social Identity and Dialogical Self Theory

Frans Wijsen

4 Plural Moralities and the Search for Meaning

Hans Alma


Part II: Developing Theory and Practice in Dialogue


Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities

5 Provocative Guidance: A Practice of Narrative Leadership

Ina ter Avest

6 Dialogical Leadership: Leading Yourself across Boundaries of Self and Culture

Rens van Loon and Angel S. Buster

7 Developing Intercultural Sensitivity in a World of Multicultural Identities

Jutta König


Education in an Age of Plural Moralities

8 Plural British Values: Between Generosity and Fear

Julia Ipgrave

9 Life Orientation as Part of Professional Development: Moral Leadership of Professionals from a DST-Perspective

Edwin van der Zande and Cok Bakker

10 Moral Commitment and Existential Issues in Religious and Worldview Education

Geir Skeie


Citizenship in an Age of Plural Moralities

11 The Culturalization of Citizenship in the Netherlands: Towards Cosmopolitan Sociabilities in a Neoliberal Epoch

Toon van Meijl

12 Beyond the Boundaries: Overcoming Resentments, Resistance and Revulsion

Mary Gergen

13 Orientation, Disorientation, and Reorientation in the Context of Plural Moralities: Experiences of an LGBT Refugee Arriving in the Netherlands

Carmen Schuhmann and Robin Knibbe



Hans Alma and Ina ter Avest

About the Editors

Hans Alma holds an endowed chair in Contemporary Humanism at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Belgium, department of Philosophy and Ethics.

Ina ter Avest is professor emerita of the Inholland University of Applied Sciences and was senior lecturer in Religious Education at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

About the Series

Studies in World Christianity and Interreligious Relations

The aim of this series is to publish scholarly works of high merit on relations between believers of various streams of Christianity, as well as relations between believers of Christianity and other religions. We welcome studies from all disciplines, including multi- and interdisciplinary studies, which focus on intra- and inter-religious relations and are non-denominational.

Editorial Board

Francis Clooney (Cambridge, USA)
Fatimah Husein (Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
Diego Irarrazaval (Santiago, Chile)
Robert Schreiter (Chicago, USA)
Abdulkader Tayob (Cape Town, South Africa)
Anya Topolski (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY / Religious
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Religious Intolerance, Persecution & Conflict