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The National Curriculum enjoins that all pupils pursue their studies in such a way as to ensure their social, moral, cultural and spiritual development. As to what ‘spiritual’ either means or merely gestures towards, there is little common agreement beyond a general sense that it must be serious-minded, non-denominationally pious, giving rise to strong but not self-regarding emotion and quite often mixing mawkishness with doleful attempts to find a kind of universal theism hidden in various world religions and multicultural systems of belief.

There is nonetheless something humanly significant and decently reverent in the statutory insistence that spirituality be somehow taught and learned. Shakespeare makes Hamlet say to his friend,

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy (Act ...

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