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International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Abstract

This chapter focuses on exploring various models of spiritual development. It first addresses

philosophical dilemmas underpinning the concept of spiritual development by questioning

whether these can be addressed without metaphysical assumptions embedded in religious

worldviews and thus understood in any consensual way across different historical and

cultural contexts. Traditional models of spiritual development are then reviewed, drawing

from indigenous, Eastern, and Western cultures. Integrative-philosophical and scientific

models, including those from the psychology of religion, transpersonal psychology, and

neurobiology, are then presented. The chapter concludes by noting the complexities involved

in understanding spiritual development accompanied by suggestions on future directions

for these models by highlighting their commonalities and differences and by providing some

evaluative perspectives for thinking critically about them.

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