Alastair McIntosh who describes himself as an independent scholar, activist, writer, speaker and broadcaster from the Isle of Lewis, is a Fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology (CHE), a director of the GalGael Trust and Visiting Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde. In his very engaging address to the conference Alastair set about making connections between the idea of the development of peoples and society with an awareness of the spiritual dimension of life. He argued that the fullness of human community is to be found when there is a proper integration of soil, soul and society. In other words when we connect properly to the earth, to the self and to one another then we are making authentic human community possible.
This connection requires the engagement of the head, the heart and the hands because the human person depends on a balance between these dimensions of our being and doing in the world. When they become separated then the result is disintegration at a personal and communal level. This is a particularly important point for educators and those charged with directing educational policy as they often emphasize the head to the exclusion of other aspects of human knowing and relating. These are not new insights but are part of the long tradition of those who have searched for wisdom and who looked to God to discover harmony and a sense of well being in the world.
For more on Alastair and his worldview see his website (www.alastairmcintosh.com)