Kingdom Come: Postmetaphysical Inclusivism? (My Conference Paper)

Per Ed's request, I'm posting a copy of the paper I just submitted for the upcoming IT Conference.  I only had 3 days to work on it, so I ended up rushing on it and I'm not entirely satisfied with the end.  I went in the general direction I wanted, but in the presentation I'll definitely try to clarify my proposal more and provide more concrete suggestions.  If you've read some of my old blogs, you'll see (in the interest of time, since I had so little of it; and also in the spirit of Wilber!), I've used material from some of them to flesh it out ... but there is still a good bit of new material in it!


Technically, this paper is not supposed to be published anywhere.  I don't think a forum really counts as "publication," but just in case, I'll leave it up only for a short time.  You will find it attached below.


Best wishes,




P.S.  I have removed the attachment and replaced it with a link (above) to the pdf of the paper which is posted on the ITC website.



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Amen Bruce!

I was cheered by your good news ;-)



Balder said:

Sure, will do.  It's funny -- now that it's in print, I find my thinking is changing.  Almost time for Alderman-2.  :-)
Congratulations, Bruce! I knew this would happen.  :-)
Thank you, Doug and Mary!

Trish Nowland, with the Sydney Integral community, has recently contributed a piece to Integral Leadership Review which includes a review of my Kingdom Come paper.


Edging into discussion on the metaphysics that sits as precedent to postmetaphysics, we spent some time engaging with the writing of Bruce Alderman in an Integral Theory Conference 2010 paper (with an expanded an extended version of the same now submitted to the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice for future publication), and after a wonderful, long discussion, came to the conclusion we needed another opportunity to be together and  round out a view of the expansive territory, hinted at by Alderman in the paper ‘Kingdom Come’.


Plural Understanding


Shifting our engaged space from the embodied to the aural experience of an online conference call, Bruce Alderman’s paper ‘Kingdom Come: beyond inclusivism and pluralism, an integral post-metaphysical invitation’ presented rich and erudite means through which our engagement with pluralism, particularly, might be expanded.

An Integral Pluralism as presented by Bruce wanders far beyond the straightforward relativist sense of a postmodern pluralism – the idea that incompatible statements from the same meaning sphere could both be considered true. The paper has less of an emphasis on epistemic truth claims than might be supposed, with ‘Pluralism’ in the title, rather, it seeks to draw a meta-analysis across the theorists ad practitioners active in religious pluralism. Thus, integral pluralism emerges as a willingness to participate openly in the livelihood of other traditions, seeking a reflexive enrichment of own and others’ religious lives exchanging, symbol, willingness and transformative intent .

Working through a kind of developmental trajectory birthed from a distinction between identist and differential pluralism, we found this paper drew us through a space where approaches to epistemology in spirituality were refracted with imagery and perspectival shift in such a way as to network a new understanding – to birth us into precisely the place that Bruce describes, together, as a whole.

The conversation benefited particularly from keen awareness of and aliveness to performative contradiction, particularly the means by which some forms of pluralism may negate the very differences that give organizational form to the term ‘pluralism’, where the distinctions amongst different theoretical interpretations of the word are so beautifully drawn out by Alderman, in the paper. This sense, borne by communal witness to performative contradiction, where understanding might be clarified in a first step by identifying at least one polarity as existent, within, provides the whiff of the direction of some future discussion, development and crystallization of talks amongst us, as a community of devoted, and discerning, integral companions. Shifting, along the path to more deeply embrace a language of evidence, borne beyond a language of presupposition and through a language of promise, the kingdom so precisely articulated in Bruce’s paper.

I'm glad you're getting well-deserved recognition for your paper. I'm just not fond of Nowland's kenniligus rhetoric so will leave my comment at that.

Wow, my essay made the Top 10 list for JITP in 2011.

Well deserved at that.

Thank you, bro.

Congrates, Bruce! ;-)

I just resubscribed yesterday. Looking forward to the hard copy.

Balder said:

Wow, my essay made the Top 10 list for JITP in 2011.

Bravo, Bruce!

Gracias, Doug y Mary!

I was just re-reading kela's note on inclusivism and how it is invariably about hegemony, including but not limited to Buddhism.

"It sometimes appears (or masquarades) as a kind of pluralism, but in the end it is about the dominance of some particular tradition...and the subordination of all other traditions to that tradition."

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

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