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Meditation, Social Change, and Undergraduate Education


by Steven C Rockefeller ó 2006

This article argues that meditation guided by a competent teacher can be a positive influence in contemporary American society and even a force for progressive social change. A number of critical issues requiring further study are identified, including the need for a better understanding of meditation from the perspective of developmental psychology and of the relation between meditation and psychotherapy. The article proposes that American educational institutions can benefit from a deeper appreciation of the contemplative dimension of life. Special attention is given to how the American undergraduate college can provide students with opportunities to learn about and experience various forms of meditation. The role of teachers, chaplains, psychological counselors, and health care professionals in introducing meditation to students is discussed.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 9, 2006, p. 1775-1786
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12681, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 7:41:03 PM

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About the Author
  • Steven Rockefeller
    Middlebury College
    STEVEN C. ROCKEFELLER is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Middlebury College, Vermont, where he taught for 30 years and served as dean of the college and chair of the religion department. He received his master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and his Ph.D. in the philosophy of religion from Columbia University. He is the author of John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (Columbia, 1991) and the coeditor of two collections of essays, The Christ and the Bodhisattva (SUNY, 1987) and Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment is a Religious Issue (Beacon, 1992). He chaired the international Earth Charter drafting committee and serves as a member of the Earth Charter Commission. Active in the field of philanthropy, he chairs the board of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, an international grant-making foundation based in New York City, and is a trustee of the Asian Cultural Council.
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