Promotion of spiritual development: Exploration of the self and spiritualism through the practice of Chinese calligraphy

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Abstract

Promotion of students' spiritual development is one of the goals of pastoral care in schools. The heritage of Chinese calligraphy is traditionally used as a way to enhance an individual's self-reflection and cultivation, and has an educational value in spiritual development. This study aims to examine the cultural meaning of Chinese calligraphy and its practices in general, and specifically its connection to spiritualism. The methodologies of narrative approach and textual analysis were employed. Accordingly, the narratives of five practitioners' personal experiences, including the researcher's, captured in unstructured interviews, plus selected historical texts on calligraphy will be examined. This article suggests that calligraphy serves more than a utilitarian function. The value of spiritualism underlying this art has also been used as a practice of personal development and spiritual discipline, which leads practitioners to reflect in their mind and heart. This value is universal, and can be agreed upon in a pluralistic society and applied to all schools with different cultural backgrounds and also outside of religious traditions. Lastly this article draws school practitioners' attention to the importance of calligraphy for spiritual development of students and its implications for the promotion of pastoral care and spiritual education. Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
JournalPastoral Care in Education
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

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Spiritualism
Ego
Pastoral Care
promotion
Students
school
Art
pluralistic society
Values
narrative
General Practice
reflexivity
Research Personnel
Interviews
Education
student
art
methodology
interview
education

Citation

Hue, M.-T. (2009). Promotion of spiritual development: Exploration of the self and spiritualism through the practice of Chinese calligraphy. Pastoral Care in Education, 27(1), 63-76.

Keywords

  • Spiritual development
  • Chinese calligraphy
  • Daoism