New spiritualities

An unexpected phenomenon lies within the major cultural changes contemporary societies are undergoing: the emergence of a new spirituality, often detached from any moral or religious dogma, expressed in an open and plural manner with different philosophical narratives. There has been a decline in religion, but not in spirituality. We reflect on this in issue 121 of the magazine Barcelona Metròpolis, in the dossier on ‘New Spiritualities’.

Just as the French philosopher André Comte-Sponville pointed out, the crisis relating to the idea of God and secularisation have not extinguished the need that humans have for communion, the desire for a deep connection with a source of meaning which binds everything together. As a response to this need, various ways have emerged for people to explore an inner world, to give meaning to life and engage with the idea of transcendence through new plural forms and different narratives.

The dossier for issue 121 of Barcelona Metròpolis, entitled ‘New Spiritualities’, looks at the resurgence of this spiritual dimension, the importance of spirituality at school so that each child can construct their meaning for life, the upsurge in neo-religions such as mindfulness and new age products and how secularisation and the hegemony of medicine have driven a growth in the healthy dimension of spirituality.

The search for inner well-being has today become a necessity and this is why new spiritualities are growing, hand in hand with wellness and health. This situation is outlined by Milagros Pérez Oliva, director of Barcelona Metròpolis, in her editorial introducing the dossier with articles by Maria del Mar Griera i Llonch, Xavier Melloni i Ribas, Marc Galofré, Angélica Sátiro, Mónica Cornejo Valle and Eudald Espluga Casademont.

On art

In the interview, Cesc Gelabert talks about dance and corporal awareness as a tool for everyday life and explains what makes dance an art form. Among other things, the dancer talks about his book El que m’agradaria que la dansa fos, where he reflects on his own experience, and also looks back at his time as an artist, from Barcelona, to New York and Berlin.

The section En Trànsit looks at l’ofici de periodista de la mà de l’escriptor nord-americà Patrick Radden Keefe, i al Debat de cultura es recullen les opinions de diversos experts entorn de la pràctica de la dissidència en el món de l’art. A les pàgines de cultura també hi trobem una entrevista amb la lingüista Teresa Cabré, un article sobre el circuit de centres públics dedicats a promoure l’art contemporani a la nostra ciutat, i les ressenyes de dos llibres, molt diferents entre sí però amb temàtiques molt interessants: Antonio Machado a Barcelona (1938-39), una antologia d’articles del poeta a La Vanguardia, i Els salaris de la ira, Miquel Puig’s uncomfortable account of the ‘hypocritical’ economic policy of the left.

In Visions urbanes, two articles lay bare the huge challenge for municipal public management in Barcelona resulting from the social and healthcare emergency caused by the Covid-19 crisis. From different points of view, Marc Martí-Costa i la gerenta de l’Ajuntament Sara Berbel fan balanç sobre quines han estat les prioritats i, en alguns casos, les debilitats de l’organització municipal per afrontar la pandèmia. I a Barcelona en dades es presenta un tema que ens afecta a tots molt de prop: la crisi de l’habitatge. Tanca el número el relat de Núria Cadenes.  L’escriptora ha triat la Barceloneta per ambientar el the story El dia de demà.

As for the more visual part of the magazine, Eva Parey offers her photographic report Babel-Barcelona, XXI, while Sandra Rilova is the author of the front cover and the illustrations contained in this issue.