1st Edition

Spiritually-Engaged Knowledge
The Attentive Heart

ISBN 9780754653776
Published September 28, 2005 by Routledge
264 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

In a supposedly ’global age,’ which not everyone accepts, the late Dr Jennifer Crawford has brought together a range of disciplines in her creation of a unified, sensitive ’way of knowing’ for the global era. Drawing upon her academic and lived experience in philosophy, environmental science, social work and feminism, together with a deep spiritual commitment, Jennifer Crawford has deftly woven together complex ideas in her reconceptualisation of global justice. Spiritually-Engaged Knowledge: The Attentive Heart is framed within the author’s troubling encounters in India recounted in the Prologue and Epilogue. These transformative experiences inspired her multi-disciplinary exploration of justice, which took her beyond the boundaries of Western epistemology. Locating the global, the author defines what it is to be a member of a global community in which cross-cultural encounters bring forth the possibility of new genre of knowledge. Crawford situates her argument within contemporary philiosohpical contexts, drawing upon postmodern discourse, globalisation theory and the realisation of shared horizon for all human knowledge, which offers up a potential for ’knowing globally’. Crawford takes the reader through feminist theory, the ethic of care, the craft of ’othering’, surrender to the ’other’ and to our relationship with the earth which, she argues, can be reconfigured into an ethically-based way of knowing. Drawing on a range of belief systems, including Australian Aboriginal spirituality, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, metaphysics and Western philosophy, Crawford rebuilds an inclusive, compassionate, redefinition of care for the new millennium, which she calls spiritually-engaged knowledge.

Table of Contents

Contents: A dedication; Foreword; Preface; Prologue. Part I Locating the Global: Understanding in a global era: Global conversations; Exploring a global idiom; Methodological issues. Part II Logic of Inquiry: Contemporary contexts: The global context; The postmodern context. Part III Genre Analysis: Facing the other: an ethic of meeting: Before the face of the other; Beyond the other; The craft of othering; Earthcraft; Knowing other wise; Attentive love: A feminine craft; An interactive energy; A spiritual practice; The spiritual heart: Glimpses of mindfulness; Non-representational psychology; A unified theory of meditation; Postmodern spirituality. Part IV Conclusion: A handful of leaven: The rise of spiritually engaged knowledge; Spiritually engaged global politics; Not by bread alone. Epilogue; Appendix; Select bibliography; Index.

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Jennifer Crawford worked as a field officer for the United Nations Food Programme in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before returning to Australia for a Masters in Environmental Studies and her Doctoral Studies in Philosophy, achieving her PhD which forms the basis of this book.


'All readers [...] will benefit from the superbly comprehensive sweep of her survey of the impact of post-modernism on the spiritual landscape. At the end of her quest [...] the author developed a 'horrifically aggressive breast cancer' from which she died within six months, leaving her partner and colleagues to publish this book from the PhD. Reading it, one feels humbled and blessed to be recipient of the wisdom of a remarkable life.' The Scientific and Medical Network