An Individual Bahá’í Perspective on Spiritual Aspects of Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development: Towards a Second Enlightenment

By Chris Jones Kavelin.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper attempts to encourage a broad discourse on the spiritual value of cultural diversity and how such reflection can impact development policy on the local, national and international levels. It will be suggested that the fundamental principle that underpins the maturation of sustainable development policy is a spiritually and materially integrated understanding of the value of humans, their cultures and the environment in which they live. Assessment will be made of the current understandings of the spiritual value of cultural diversity as seen in key international documents. Spiritually based development indicators suggested by the Bahá’í International Community (BIC) will also be examined and then related to personal experience of the author in work with Indigenous communities. It is suggested that successfully reintegrating the spiritual and the material in a framework of humanity as one diverse loving family empowers a release of unbridled human creativity of greater significance to the development of human civilisation than the enlightenment itself.

Keywords: Spiritual Value of Cultural Diversity, Sustainable Development Policy, Bahá’í Faith

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.71-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 556.531KB).

Dr. Chris Jones Kavelin

Macquarie University, Australia

Chris Jones is a lecturer in the Bachelor of Community Management, Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies. He is the convener of both Indigenous Leadership and Business Communication Skills in that Degree. He is the convener of the colloquia ‘Spirituality and Social Transformation’ in the Global Leadership Program at Macquarie University. He has also taught Intellectual Property Law for three years in the Law faculty. He recently completed his Doctoral thesis in Law on ‘The Protection of Indigenous Medical Knowledge: Towards the Transformation of Law to Engage Indigenous Spiritual Concerns’. His masters thesis was on Bahá’í environmental theology. His greatest interest is to facilitate the recognition in others that each person, culture and religion has a unique intrinsic form of spiritual genius that is a source of humility for us and inspires a genuine affection for all members of our common human family.


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