Dr. Neal DeRoo, Spiritual Expression

Faculty Research

What are the philosophical implications and presuppositions of the claim “everything is religious?” When we say this, what do we mean? What understanding of the material world and of spirituality must be in place for such a claim to make sense?

Using resources from the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, this research into these topics argues that we should understand the material world as inherently expressive of a deeper spirituality. As such, all material things are spiritually significant in their own right—as long as we realize that ‘spiritual’ is not something distinct from the material, but is rather the  driving force within the material world that makes things what they are.

This research suggests a view of spirituality that shows our contemporary cultural world is animated by spirits or spiritualities and allows us to examine the spiritual dimensions of consumerism. This research also suggests that Christianity and other traditional ‘religions’ must also be more than just ‘ideologies’ or ‘belief systems’—they must be animating spirits that drive a set of material practices. In this way, Christianity and consumerism can be seen as spiritual or religious competitors, and not as two distinct elements of our everyday experience (e.g., our ‘religious life’ and our ‘work life’).


Dr. Neal DeRoo 


PhD Philosophy - Boston College

Field of Research 

Philosophy of Religion, Phenomenology