Page: 248-256 Author: Misauerová, A. Key words: spirituality, religion, prosocial attitudes, need of meaningfulness, relation, responsibility towards life, sacredness of life, self-recognition
This article considers the modern concep-tion of spirituality as a potential inspiration for ideas on the formation of prosocial at-tudes. It offers a fairly detailed account and history of this conception, which sees spirituality as a more universal (not necessarily religious) phenomenon directly associated with human personality.
In academic literatue this conception is known as universal/non-religious spiritual-ity (Křivohlavý 2006, Říčan 2006). The main themes of universal spirituality are questions relating to the meaningfulness of human existence, questions of vocation and responsibility towards life, the sacredness of life and so forth. This is an area that contemporary acholars (e.g. D. N. Elkins, R. A. Emmons, K. I. Pargament and others) have been making the subject of their researches. The individual today is faced with these universally human themes even if he has no declared affiliation to a specific religious organisation. The trend away from stable religious systems and towards individual spiritual quest has become typical for modern society and is generating new priblems in the fields of psychology, psy-chotherapy and educational theory.
The premise for exploration of the relationship between spirituality and the formation of prosocial attitudes is a conviction of the importance of the role played by the spiritual dimension of the personality in the choice of specific attitudes and behaviour. Spiritual experience, which need not necessarily have an exclusively religious form, may also be considered an important psychologically integrating factor element in individual motivation.
We see prosocial attitudes as a complex phenomenon. Their formation is encouraged by all kinds of positive life conditions; in the case of children we see the main relevant area at the level of the family. In theses contexts the study looks at selected categories of spirituality as typologised by D.N. Elkins (personal security through meaning of life, life vocation, experienced sacredness of life). These categories provide an inspiring basis for further reflections on the formation of prosocial attitudes. We consider self-knowledge, which relates to the adoption of prosocial concepts and to the spiritual maturation of the individual, as a separate category.