Mindfulness at the intersection of science, religion, and healing

Ergas, O. (2014). Mindfulness in education at the intersection of science, religion, and healing. Critical Studies in Education, 55(1), 58-72. Abstract.

This paper investigates mindfulness as a case study of a ‘subjective turn’ in education reflecting a postsecular age. The practice of mindfulness originates in an ancient Buddhist teaching prescribed as part of the path to enlightenment. In spite of its origins, it is becoming widespread within diverse secularly conceived social and educational settings.

The paper offers a historical review of this phenomenon and analyzes why and how mindfulness has become the spearhead within a burgeoning ‘contemplative turn’ in education. The thesis suggested is that ‘normal education’ follows ‘normal science’, yet science itself is now being shaken by its own venturing into the ‘dangerous’ waters of the religious experience.

The paper reflects critically on the prices and merits of mindfulness in education as a practice shaped by its becoming measurable. It locates these processes as depicting the postsecular age’s blurring of boundaries between religiosity/secularity/education, subject/object, and science/healing/education.