Log in

International Network for the Study of Spirituality

Spirituality and the Arts Special Interest Group (SASIG)

Chairs: Rev. Prof. June Boyce-Tillman MBE, Dr Lila Moore PhD, Annalisa Burello MSc  (bios below)

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the intersection of the arts and spirituality.

This special interest group will meet to discuss this intersection in a variety of forms and mediums such as visual art, music, film, dance, digital, interactive, poetry, time-based and performative art forms.

This will include the personal, social and cultural, encompassing both the religious and the spiritual-but-not-religious context.

Upcoming events

    • 16/04/2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Zoom
    • 85


    Gaia - Mysterious Rhythms (1999, UK) is a dance-ritual performed by a young woman on the seashore. The dance unfolds a rite of passage and a process of transformation through the woman's interaction with the elements of the natural environment: the rhythms and features of the earth, sea, moon and sun.

    In formal terms, Gaia was set out to explore the art form of screen choreography/screen-dance through a subtle, poetic and reflective interplay of images of the body and the environment. In terms of content, the woman's performance is perceived as a source of metaphoric and archetypal imagery that highlights the intricate relationship between body, psyche, and the world.

    Watch the trailer:  https://vimeo.com/47706894?share=copy

    In her talk, Lila will focus on the woman's rite of passage as a spiritual, healing and transformative journey inspired by ancient and contemporary mythopoetic images and themes, while honouring the lineage of visionary and ritualistic filmmaking, which was initiated by the 'high priestess' of the ritual-film, Maya Deren. 

    Lila Moore's research on Dance on Screen completed in 2001 was the first practice-based PhD in the UK and worldwide on choreography for the screen, known today as screen dance, as an emerging and unique art form. Hence, it was the first in the field to include the researcher's artistic practice and lived experience. It was also the first to contextualise the art form in the broader context of modern and contemporary art, including performance art, experimental film, and cyberperformance.

    Gaia – Mysterious Rhythms was selected by the IMZ, Dance Screen 99 Festival in Cologne, and the Dance on Camera Festival in New York (2000). The PhD thesis, including the film, was published and distributed by Artfilms/Contemporary Arts Media and will become available via The Bloomsbury Library Dance Collection in 2024.


    Dr Lila Moore holds a practice-based PhD in Dance on Screen from Middlesex University (2001), UK, in the context of experimental film, dance, modern and contemporary art, multimedia and cyber performance with special reference to myth, ritual, women’s spirituality and movement therapy through imaginal images and archetypes. Her Postdoc at the Planetary Collegium of Plymouth University (2015) entitled The Cybernetic Futures Institute, explored networked-digital-interactive forms of performance and narrative, fields of noetic and compassionate consciousness, and the innovative formulation and intersection of advanced technologies, spirituality and technoetic aesthetics to counteract the dominant narrative of violence.  She is a lecturer and dissertation supervisor at the Alef Trust and leads the Option course Spirituality and the Imaginal as part of the Spiritual Psychology Module.

    Dr Moore co-chairs the Spirituality and the Arts SIG of the International Network for the Study of Spirituality. She is a published author and parctising technoetic artist, screen-choreographer, and theorist. 

    For more info, see her websites:  



    The video recording of the event will be available on our YouTube channel Spirituality and the Arts Special Interest Group 

    Join our  Facebook Group called Spirituality and the Arts using this link. 

    For more details, see https://spiritualitystudiesnetwork.org/Spirituality-and-the-Arts-SIG

    The SIG Chairs: the Rev. Prof. June Boyce-Tillman, Dr Lila Moore, Annalisa Burello. 


The group aims to explore a variety of relationships between the arts and spirituality. These are some possibilities:

  • The arts as a spiritual practice 
  • Spirituality as creative practice
  • Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) caused by an encounter with the arts
  • The arts and the transformation of consciousness
  • The arts, Spirituality and Social Change

Our approach aims to be interdisciplinary, so we will explore the juncture of the arts and spirituality through the lenses of consciousness studies, spirituality studies, religious studies, theology, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, health/wellbeing, philosophy, art, aesthetics and literary theories, musicology; and through the lens of different agents: artists, curators, therapists, academics and independent scholars, general public, popular initiatives, etc.           

Aims of the SASIG:

  • Explore and encourage the development of conceptual criteria to detect and discuss the spiritual qualities in the arts
  • Encourage more scholarly research on the relationship between the arts and spirituality
  • Explore and encourage the discourse of the spiritual in both public and private spheres of the arts
  • Explore and encourage the establishment of conceptual means and language that would be useful to artists who are interested in incorporating aspects of spirituality in their artworks and their practices

To become involved in the SASIG, please register for our next event.

All SIG meetings will be free for INSS members. Non-members are welcome to attend the inaugural event for free and subsequent ones for a small fee. If you enjoy it, please consider joining INSS. Besides other benefits, this will allow you to view the INSS-members-only SASIG page containing profiles of other attendees (if shared), and give you free access to all INSS SIG events.

Our email address is mailto:sasig@spiritualitystudiesnetwork.org

We now have a Youtube channel where you can watch the recordings of our Zoom meetings.

We also created a Facebook group: please join it! 

SIG Chairs

Annalisa Burello completed a Master's Degree in Financial and Monetary Economics at Bocconi University in 1993 which led to a fifteen years career in finance and banking. After leaving banking in 2008, she resurrected her childhood passion for the arts and retrained as a visual artist, attaining a BA (Hon) Photography at the University of Westminster in 2019. Currently, she is completing a Master's degree in Anthropology - Religion in the Contemporary World at the London School of Economics.

Annalisa is researching the intersection between art, creativity and spirituality and, following her introduction to McGilchrist's Hemispheric Hypothesis, in empirically exploring how spiritual and creative practices affect the Right Hemisphere and mental health in general. These investigations have brought her to inquire and later adopt meditation and yoga as a body-mind practice to access, release and sustain creative energies via supporting a greater integration of the right and left hemispheric modes of functioning. Her goal is to articulate a framework of spirituality to include artistic practices.

Annalisa lives in London and has two children.

The Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman MBE FRSA FHEA is an international performer, composer, workshop leader and keynote speaker.  She is an Emerita Professor of Applied Music at Winchester University and an Extra-ordinary Professor at North West University, South Africa.  She lectures internationally and is concerned with wellbeing, spirituality and radical musical inclusion culturally and personally. She is editing the series on Music and Spirituality for the publisher Peter Lang which includes her book, Experiencing Music-Restoring the Spiritual; Music as Wellbeing, the edited collection Queering Freedom: Music, Identity and Spirituality: Perspectives from Ten Countries and her autobiography Freedom Song: Faith, Abuse, Music and Spirituality: A Lived Experience.. She founded MSW – Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing – an international network sharing expertise and experience in this area. www.mswinternational.org

She is a hymn writer with a collection published by Stainer and Bell of inclusive language and ecological hymns – A Rainbow to Heaven.   These are used internationally. She is an Anglican priest serving All Saints Church, Tooting.


Dr Lila Moore, PhD is a lecturer, theorist, film-maker and mixed reality artist with expertise in the fields of screen-dance and Technoetic Arts. She holds a practice-based PhD from Middlesex University (2001) in the interdisciplinary context of Screen Dance, experimental film, modern art, performance, myth, ritual and expressive therapies. She also holds an MA in Independent Film and Video and MPhil on the evolution of performative and screen-based art forms from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, and a B.Ed. degree in Fine Art & Art History.

Lila lectures and writes on the arts, film, and new media in the context of modern and contemporary spirituality, mysticism, gender, cultural theories, and technoetics. She is a lecturer and thesis supervisor for the Alef Trust MSc Programme in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology, and leading the course: Psyche, Cosmos and the Imaginal. Additionally, she has been a lecturer at the Department for the Study of Mysticism and Spirituality at Zefat Academic College in the ancient Kabbalistic town of Safed (2013-2022), teaching BA courses on spiritual cinema and the intersection of spirituality, mysticism and the arts. Her postdoc at the Planetary Collegium of Plymouth University (2015) entitled The Cybernetic Futures Institute is a networked platform, exploring technoetic arts with an emphasis on the spiritual-mystical and occult in art, film, screen-dance, and networked-digital-interactive forms of performance and narrative.

Lila regularly presents research papers in academic conferences, and her articles were published in academic journals. She is a member of the editorial board of Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology journal and the S/He International Journal of Goddess Studies. Lila participates in juried exhibitions and festivals and her digital artworks, films and theoretical writings are archived by Bloomsbury Digital, ACM SIGGRAPH and ADA - Archive of Digital Art.


   About the network

The INSS is a unique international network for people interested in bringing the study of spirituality to life through research, scholarship, education and practice.


Please click here to contact us

Copyright © 2023, International Network for the Study of Spirituality
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software