In crisis situations, such as terror attacks or societal tensions caused by migration, people tend to look for explicit moral and spiritual leadership and are often inclined to vote for so-called 'strong leaders'. Is there a way to resist the temptation of the simplistic solutions that these ‘strong leader’ offer, and instead encourage constructive engagement with the complex demands of our times? This volume utilises relational and dialogical perspectives to examine and address many of the issues surrounding the moral and spiritual guidance articulated in globalizing Western societies.

The essays in this collection focus on the concept of plural moralities, understood as divergent visions on what is a 'good life', both in an ethical, aesthetical, existential, and spiritual sense. They explore the political-cultural context and consequences of plural moralities as well as discussing challenges, possibilities, risks, and dangers from the perspective of two promising relational theories: social constructionism and dialogical self theory. The overarching argument is that it is possible to constructively put in nuanced moral and spiritual guidance into complex, plural societies.

By choosing a clear theoretical focus on relational approaches to societal challenges, this interdisciplinary book provides both a broad scope and a coherent argument. It will be of great interest to scholars of social and political psychology, leadership and organization, religious studies, and pedagogy.

chapter |9 pages


ByHans Alma, Ina ter Avest

part I|78 pages

Theoretical perspectives

chapter 1|14 pages

Toward a relational ethic

ByKenneth J. Gergen

chapter 2|21 pages

Dialogical self theory in a boundary-crossing society

ByHubert J.M. Hermans

chapter 3|22 pages

Religion, radicalism, relativism

Between social identity and dialogical self theory
ByFrans Wijsen

chapter 4|19 pages

Plural moralities and the search for meaning

ByHans Alma

part II|64 pages

Developing theory and practice in dialogue

chapter 5|16 pages

Provocative guidance

A practice of narrative leadership
ByIna ter Avest

chapter 6|21 pages

Dialogical leadership

Leading yourself across boundaries of self and culture
ByRens van Loon, Angel S. Buster

part |66 pages

Education in an age of plural moralities

chapter 8|17 pages

Plural British Values

Between generosity and fear
ByJulia Ipgrave

chapter 9|24 pages

Life orientation as part of professional development

Moral leadership of professionals from a DST perspective
ByEdwin van der Zande, Cok Bakker

part |72 pages

Citizenship in an age of plural moralities

chapter 11|23 pages

The culturalization of citizenship in the Netherlands

Towards cosmopolitan sociabilities in a neoliberal epoch
ByToon van Meijl

chapter 12|27 pages

Beyond the boundaries

Overcoming resentments, resistance, and revulsion
ByMary Gergen

chapter 13|20 pages

Orientation, disorientation, and reorientation in the context of plural moralities

Experiences of an LGBT refugee arriving in the Netherlands
ByCarmen Schuhmann, Robin Knibbe

chapter |7 pages


ByHans Alma, Ina ter Avest