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Over the 1997-2000 period, Network Cultures-Europe has launched a research programme entitled "Experiences in Citizenship South and North: Local Development, Democracy and the Role of Culture". The subject matter is identity and its influence on local dynamics in the social, economic and political fields.

This programme consists of two projects. One project (1999-2000) deals with identity as a collective phenomenon. It refers to things like an ethnic group, a nation, a common culture or language, a collective heritage, or a territory with its specific architecture or know-how … The project deals with the positive or negative impact of such a collective identity (or culture) on local development and genuinely participative democracy. It looks into local initiatives in the social and economic arena, into democracy at grassroots level and into the violations of democratic rights perpetrated in the name of culture or identity.

The other project in this Programme (1997-1999) deals with identity at a more individual and intimate level, in other words it looks at personal sources of inspiration or spirituality. It is called "Roots and Wings". In this special issue we are reporting on this most stimulating "Roots and Wings" project. It was open to persons from various philosophical or religious persuasions.

These are extracts from our special issue "Roots and Wings" on the Spirituality of Social Commitment. To have the full text, please subscribe or order the issues

by Aquifolium
© 2000, South-North Network Cultures and Development