Disruptive Spiritual Innovation and Mutual Indifference

Perhaps I really should not post this as my grasp of theory is thin to say the least, and my knowledge of Disruptive Spiritual Innovation is no deeper than my earlier posts on the topic. That being noted, here I go…

I think that I have had a lot of difficulty in processing DSI because it seems to be more of a social vision than anything that speaks to social theory (or, to be honest, at least any social theory that I like). However, after listening to a paper yesterday evening (by John Rundell*) I stumbled across the obvious.

Religion (and religious practices) signal intersections that lead to social meaning and also difference. However, the’ stand in category of religion’ is not necessarily a bad thing as, through putting a line around certain things, it provides an opportunity for ‘mutual indifference’- keeping the discussions alive for another time. In engaging in ‘mutual indifference’ we may miss out on some of the intersections, and so miss out on some possible social meaning. However, not all meanings are compatible, especially when it comes to building a shared bond that can lead to some enforceable and fixed base for politics. Therefore this ‘mutual indifference’ may allow us to get on with life.

I was reminded last night that while religion might be orientated towards making sense, it does not necessarily need control over the social space and the interpretation of modernity itself. It was clearly stated that it is fundamentalism, as opposed to religion, which seeks that control. Perhaps, in breaking ‘jobs that need to get done’ away from meaning, DSI as a project argues for new learnings and social meanings that do not challenge the prior understandings about what it is to be a person and what needs to get done in life? Of course, these prior understandings will not remain unchanged but they can provide the foundational point for engagement.

So, in lieu of a conclusion, I suppose the next question is to what degree do those prior understandings determine the outcomes of the engagement, or does the process of engaging bring about a new cosmopolitan way of being in the world?

* Sorry that I cannot cite an actual paper and my notes are too sketchy to trace Rundell’s use of theory, but the seminar abstract is at http://www.pasi.unimelb.edu.au/knowledge-transfer/events-lectures-seminars/ccs-seminars/archive-2010/rundell.html


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