Original Research - Special Collection: Religious studies

Awakening – Transformation, agency and virtue from three contemporary philosophical inspirations: Bhaskar, Segal and Slote

Dudley Schreiber
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 1 | a2974 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i1.2974 | © 2015 Dudley Schreiber | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2015 | Published: 30 October 2015

About the author(s)

Dudley Schreiber, Research Student, Christian Spirituality, University of South Africa, South Africa


For some, ‘transformation’ is the new non-reductive and non-normative ‘development’, attracting attention from interdisciplinary array, but of particular theoretical and practical interest to Spirituality scholars. In philosophical context, transformation theory has suffered greatly from ’agency-structure’ dualism and suspension of ontology in body-mind dualism and rationalist virtue controversy. Drawing on the work of Bhaskar, Segal and Slote, a renegotiated and more meaningful sense of transformation emerges from their cumulative analytical and conceptual enrichment. In the complexity of possible relations between self, self-concept and society, lies the traditionally neglected transformative middle of sui-generis human depth. In redress, arguably, Bhaskar’s meta-philosophy accommodates Segal’s experiential depth analysis and Slote’s understanding of empathy and receptivity as valuable insights for ’awakening’ to transformative process.


agency, alienation, awakening, consciousness, dualism, emergence, empathy, intention, ontology, receptivity, reflexivity, self, society, transformation, virtue


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