(7-8 June 2021) Spirituality in Research, Professional Practice and Education

The sixth international conference of the International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS) [formerly British Association for the Study of Spirituality  (BASS)] will take place online from 7-8 June 2021.  

The conference theme is: ‘Spirituality in Research, Professional Practice, and Education’

Further information and booking at:  


or contact MIchael at mosullivan@wit.ie or Joan at j.walton@yorksj.ac.uk

The Director of SpIRE is a Board member and Trustee of INSS and will give a paper at the conference.  He is also a member of the organising committee and the scientific committee, and of the editorial board of the Network’s journal, Journal for the Study of Spirituality. The Chair of SpIRE will be one of the four keynote speakers.

The Journal for the Study of Spirituality (JSS) will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary at the INSS Conference. 

Below, the Editor of JSS and Vice-President of BASS, Dr Cheryl Hunt, speaks about the forthcoming conference.

In his Opening Address at the launch of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality
(BASS) in January 2011, the then President, John Swinton, asked:

Why is it that everyone talks about spirituality in such different terms? Why is it that everyone
seems to know what it is, yet no one seems to be able to offer a definitive description?
Sometimes it is perceived as the manifestation of love; sometimes it is the search for hope, meaning and purpose; for some people it is about religion and God; others clearly and self-
consciously want to exclude God and religion. How can we claim to have a coherent field of enquiry if those who are participating in the field appear to have no coherent understanding of
what the central concept is?
Part of the ‘problem’ of spirituality is that it straddles different cultures, academic disciplines
and professional contexts. Studies in and of the field draw on scientific and literary concepts, on
quantitative and qualitative data, and on objective measures as well as subjective experiences.
BASS came into being with the expressed intention of providing a forum where studies shaped
by the diverse approaches and priorities of different cultures, perspectives and professional
obligations might be brought together in the context of what Swinton referred to as ‘hospitable
conversation’ in both ‘physical and conceptual’ spaces.
The Sixth International BASS Conference will offer space for hospitable conversation, whether in plenary sessions following keynote presentations, or in smaller groups in the parallel sessions devoted to participants’ own presentations. The conference will be interdisciplinary and inter-professional, bringing together abroad range of scholars and practitioners from around the world who have interests in the theory and practice of spirituality.
The conference title reflects the three key elements in the study of spirituality that underpin
the work of BASS: Research, Education, Practice. Four internationally-renowned Keynote
Speakers will each highlight what they see as significant aspects of spirituality within their own
disciplinary/professional context, including particular challenges to, and opportunities for, the
development of research, professional practice and/or education in the field.