Soteria seminar 20th April 2013: What is the State's Role in Individual Spiritual Progress?

What is the State´s Role in Individual Spiritual Progress?

One-day seminar in Copenhagen, 20th April 2013

Concordia Venue, Nordre Fasanvej 230

The progress of physical health has shifted from being only a private matter to being a concern of state’s support, for a better society. Should a similar shift come regarding spiritual progress? What could be the state's role to ensure a proper spiritual climate without crossing teh natural limits required for personal development?

Soteria International cordially invites to discussion on the following topics:

• Should state support spiritual progress? How much?

• Can progress of spiritual health be measured as results of practice?

• Could spirituality be externally supported without becoming dogmatic?

• Is freedom of conscience and belief already sufficiently secured in Europe today?

The seminar follows up on the pioneering 2012 seminar “What is the Role of Spirituality in Modern Society”. The 2012-2013 seminars series invites hands-on spiritual practitioners, politicians and scholars to discuss and envision new perspectives on the harmonious integration of spirituality in European society.


10.00–10:30   Registration

10:30-11.00 Introduction by Soteria International

11.00-12.30 Perspectives from NGOs:

Bashy Quaraishy (EMISCO -European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion)

Nobuhiro Igarashi (UPF – United Peace Federation)

Natalia Shelaru (Soteria International)

12.30-13.00 Workshop: visions on the optimal relation between state and spiritual progress

13:00-14:00 Lunch break

14:00–15.30 Perspectives from spiritual practice:

Imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen (Islam)

Advaitananda Stoian (Natha Yogacenter)

Anette Refstrup (Church of Scientology)

15.30-16.00 Walk’n’Talk – tea break outside

16.00-17.00 Concluding panel debate with all speakers

18.30- Dinner in Ambrosias Have

Spiritual and religious practice offer progressive solutions for many challenges in society; from physical and psychic health issues, stabilizing social cohesion and offering a more profound understanding, direction and meaning to human existence. At  the same time different spiritual and religious practices are many times met with increased discrimination and mistrust in Europe today. After 2001 prejudice, discrimination and hatecrimes is moving from race to religion as the political climate slides from ideology to identity.


Proactive solutions are needed to harmoniously integrate the spiritual dimension of human life into society, not letting it be kidnapped into a political agenda of fear and ignorance.


The seminar is open to public and will be moderated towards a dialogue with the audience, present in the hall or through web-streamed transmission. The seminar is concluded with a common panel discussion.

Friday 19th at 19.00 What is the State's Role in Individual Spiritual Progress? is preluded by an exlusive screening of the film "Free the Mind" following professor Richard Davidsons experiments with teaching American war veterans and children meditation and yoga. The screening is following by a discussion with scientst and yogateacher Advaitananda Stoian.

The seminar will take place Saturday 20th April from 10-17. The seminar language is English. The seminar will be video recorded, edited and published.

Cost: 15 Euro/100DKK, including the special screening of "Free the Mind". Limited public seats at the seminar.

Filmscreening only: 7 Euro/50 DKK

For further information please contact