Contemplative University


Contemplative University

Digital technology is a revolutionary force in human civilization, but one that has not been fully utilized in higher education. CSC is closing this gap by building a global university located fully on the Web where a dispersed community of teachers, students, and citizens interact and share content. The Contemplative University will offer instruction and learning tools on contemplative practices, as well as contemplatively-based approaches to education and understanding across a broad array of fields, including the humanities, health sciences, business, education, architecture, law, engineering, leadership and public policy, and more. U.Va. will support the technology and administration of the Contemplative University, but its governance will involve a worldwide consortium of universities and non-profit organizations with central commitments to contemplation. The Contemplative University will be offering courses, digital library-press, and social networking aligned with contemplative ideas, practices, and values. It will become a clearinghouse for contemplative research and instructional materials with a digital library of manuscripts, texts, essays, articles, photographs, audio-video recordings, and visualizations. Innovative work done at U.Va. will be made available in real time to the rest of the world, such that the transformations cultivated locally will have impact far beyond the confines of the University of Virginia grounds.

Features of the Contemplative University:

1. Contemplative Encyclopedia: a massive reference resource that will provide an elaborate guide to the world’s traditional and modern contemplative practices and traditions, as well as contemporary research and applications. Users will be able to explore a vast array of contemplative traditions, view audio-video, texts, translations, photographs, and much more.

2. Social Networking: The Contemplative University will provide ways for participants to maintain a public profile and easily locate and engage experts, fellow students, or others with shared interests. This will replicate the social environment of a brick-and-mortar university, creating spaces for virtual office hours, lectures, events, and other forms of interaction.

3. Online Courses: The Contemplative University will offer actual courses on a variety of subjects, including contemplative practices and their applications, religious traditions, scientific research, and other content specific courses.

4. Contemplative Mapping: This long-term project will build a rich, interactive map of contemplative organizations, facilities, and spaces. This tool will include multiple scales, beginning with the University of Virginia’s historical grounds, and scaling up to global coverage. The map will calculate for a given contemplative system what the spatial requirements are for individuals and groups to engage in its practice.