Moral and Spiritual Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities

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Hans Alma, Ina ter Avest
Studies in World Christianities and Interreligious Relations
  • New York, NY: 
    , January
     304 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Hans Alma holds an endowed chair in Contemporary Humanism at the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

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.


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