See? It can be done!!! Our friend, Patrick Carr, passed his viva on Thursday, June 11th. His thesis was entitled, "Moral Perception and Meditation: A Secular Study of Spiritual Exercises and the Cultivation of Compassion." Here's little bit from his abstract (hope he won't mind!):
"Forces of distraction and disorientation in contemporary culture which undermine moral engagement make the need for systematic means of cultivating moral agency particularly pressing. Whilst for many people today, religious frames of reference no longer remain convincing, religious traditions remain the repository of some of the most effective forms of self- and moral formation ever developed, so-called ‘spiritual exercises’. This thesis develops a naturalistic philosophical and psychological framework by means of which the form and content of one such historical spiritual exercise, Christian meditation, can be reformulated and applied to the challenge of moral formation in a post-religious context." If that's whet your appetite, you can hungrily await its publication!