Purpose


The Baughman Meditation Center on Lake Alice at UF.

Spirituality deals with what we find eternal, beautiful, meaningful and just, and asks us to contemplate "what should be". Science and technology deal much more with "what is" and how best to predict and manipulate it. The interface between these powerful forces is of immense and immediate importance because their interaction is likely to strongly influence how the next generations shape the future of our world. Careful analyses of our debates about healthcare, ecology, economics, politics, nationalism, educational policy and even law often reveal this underlying conflict between "faith" and "fact" based realities. We believe that universities must become even more deeply involved in this arena. Institutions of higher education can create the space where human experience, faith and belief can be discussed and examined along with the notion of rigorous scientific evidence and methods in broadly interdisciplinary and scholarly fashion. Our Center seeks to help create this space by promoting the process of individual and collective self-discovery, thereby fostering human qualities often called wisdom, consciousness, noble purpose, awe, mystery, wholeness, harmony, connectedness, tolerance and/or awareness.

To this end, the major activities of our Center include conducting and/or organizing

  1. interdisciplinary "for credit" courses at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels;
  2. relevant curricular tracks;
  3. seminars about research and scholarship are at the interface of spirituality, biomedical science and health;
  4. an annual "Distinguished Leadership in Spirituality and Health" lectureship;
  5. community-wide educational programs and workshops;
  6. research projects and programs that focus on the interface between religious traditions, spirituality and health;
  7. interdisciplinary discussion groups and journal club; and
  8. retreats and parallel activities led by students.


 
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