This volume is a study of empowered, resilient, and globally responsible moral consciousness in the historical context of a global transition to a new level of sociohistorical organization in society. This work develops further the Freirean concept of critical consciousness, and describes its lifespan ontogeny, integrating moral psychology, critical theory and cultural critique, education, religion, and social ethics theory with cross-cultural empirical research. What evolves is a new level of understanding of human motivation, and individual and collective human spiritual potential at the turn of the 21st century. Critical consciousness (CC) is analyzed in terms of the harmonious integration of mind and heart, of cognitive, volitional and affective capacities. Its lifespan evolution is described through three levels: Pre-CC, Transitional CC, and mature CC, and the dynamics of each level are explored through in-depth, cross-cultural case studies encompassing the continuum between ordinary people and moral leaders. The paradigmatic limitations of current education and social science from the prespective of the rmative construct of critical consciousness are examined, and a foundation is provided for re-thinking contemporary educational vision. This work also explores the emerging spiritual psychology of integration at the turn of the century, as it begins to bridge the split between theory and praxis, to contribute more fully to the global efforts to evolve a civil society, based on justice and unity in diversity.
ELENA MUSTAKOVA-POSSARDT is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the State University of West Georgia.