Spirituality & Global Affairs

This project has been completed

Directed by Nancy Roof, Ph.D..

An independent initiative in affiliation with JEMI

The mission of Spirituality & Global Affairs is to inform and inspire participation in shaping our emerging global civilization through an integral approach that is based on the interdependence of all life. We encourage and support a comprehensive approach global challenges which includes body, mind, soul and spirit, in self, culture, nature and organizational systems.


There are few institutions that play a more central role in shaping prevailing worldview than the United Nations. Nancy Roof, Ph.D., founded Spirituality & Reality to bring spiritual values to this influential body and the international community as a whole.

We are the first generation called to the task of building a global civilization. True globalization creates the need for whole system changes and new ways of thinking about complexity and diversity. Our Spirituality & Global Affairs Associates have joined together to explore the emergence of a new spirituality for this new time and integral approaches to comprehend the global complexity.
— Nancy Roof, Ph.D.

Fostering “an integral approach to global awakening” is the mission of Dr Roof and her associates. Through their activities and their Kosmos Journal, the distinguished members seek to elevate and deepen discourse and dialogue on global affairs; explore new forms of global governance; deepen and strengthen the inner life and its interconnectedness to the whole; explore new forms of spirituality for a global era; deal with complexity through an Integral Worldview; enhance human solidarity through honoring cultural and developmental differences; and encourage the growth of an informed Global Civil Society.

In a sunny garden in Manhattan close to the United Nations, a small group met to share a common commitment to enhance the quality of life and the humanization of global relations. Among those present were Reverend Chung OK Lee, Head Minister of the Manhattan Won-Buddhist Temple and Co-President of World Conference on Religions and Peace and Nancy Roof, Co-Founder of the Values Caucus at the United Nations and later the Spiritual Caucus. We asked: What is the most pressing need of the world as we enter the 21st century? We were preparing to speak at the NGO conference in Korea that fall. Later we spent many more days together in the beauty of the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts to write and edit Visions for a New Civilization: Spiritual and Ethical Values for the New Millennium. We called ourselves Friends for the New Civilization. Later we presented the First Ethics Conference at the United Nations.

Gradually we found other colleagues with a similar concern for the welfare of our world: Patricia Mische, founder of Global Education Associates, and Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, of the World Bank. We were surprised to discover that our group represented a distinguished group of professionals in a variety of fields, including politics, economics, development, education, psychology and religion; that we were from different continents and civilizations — Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and North America; and that our religious backgrounds were diverse — Catholic and Protestant Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy. It was evident that race, nationality, religion and different fields of expertise presented no barriers to our coming together in common concern.

Four of us participated in a conference at Antioch College where we combined our various perspectives on international affairs with spiritual values to a resoundingly enthusiastic crowd. Later Abdul Aziz Said from the American University joined with us as we founded the Journal, Spirituality & Reality: New Perspectives on Global Issues. Nancy Roof has continued to expand the work of the Journal and its circulation as Editor in Chief since 2000 while others have contributed quality articles expressing the mission and goals of the work.

We are now at the beginning of a new chapter in our journey with a new Advisory Board, a new name, and an expanded mission. We welcome our new Advisory Board members: Don Beck, Richard Falk, Gayatri Naraine, and Danny Schechter. The publication and distribution of our journal remains the centerpiece of our work.

Nancy B. Roof, Ph.D., is the founding director of Spirituality & Global Affairs (SGA) and the founding editor of the Kosmos Journal.

Visit the Spirituality & Global Affairs website at www.kosmosjournal.org

Roof represented the John E Mack Institute (then known as the Center for Psychology & Social Change) in NGO consultative status with the United Nations for more than 15 years (since 1988) working on the global agenda.

During this time she has co-founded the Values Caucus[1], and is a co-founding Convener of the Spiritual Caucus[2] and Advisor to Spiritual Dimensions in Global Public Policy lecture series in New York and Geneva. Author of The Impact of War on Service Providers, she designed and directed the first training programs on secondary traumatic stress in a war zone during the Bosnian War [3]. She was invited to give evidence to Congress on Improving the United Nations by including the human dimension in its policies. Published in several books, she speaks internationally on Spirituality for a Global Age, Integral Approaches.


[1] The UN Values Caucus – Formed in the early 1990’s, this grouping was co-founded by Dr Roof in the face of a prohibition of the use of language of religion and values in UN debate. In 1994, she was invited to address representatives of 189 governments on the need for values in public policy.

[2] The UN Spiritual Caucus – A natural outgrowth of the Values Caucus, this grouping, co-convened by Dr Roof, is dedicated to raising the level of spiritual discourse at the world body. It uses meditative techniques and intuition to explore and find solutions to global challenges.

[3] The Balkans Trauma Project – Organized and implemented by the Center for Psychology and Social Change (now named the John E Mack Institute), this pioneering project trained representatives of 78 organizations to help relief workers in the Balkans deal with the stresses of operating in war ravaged regions with traumatized populations. Funding agencies included the International Rescue Committee and USAID.