chapter  4
23 Pages

Understanding the “Interior” Life of Faculty: How Important Is Spirituality?

ByJennifer A. Lindholm, Helen S. Astin

Within American society, the spiritual dimension of our lives has traditionally been regarded as intensely personal, an innermost component of who we are that lies outside the realm of appropriate discussion or concern within business and academic contexts. However, in an era characterized by its spiritual “poverty,” we have seen a growing societal quest for “nonreligious, nondenominational” ways of fostering spirituality and an associated hunger for spiritual growth.1 In 1998, for example, 82% of Americans expressed a need to “experience spiritual growth,” up from 54% just four years earlier.2