Which Of The Following Characteristics Distinguishes Spirituality From Religion? (Perfect answer)

What is the difference between religious and spiritual beliefs?

  • Religious beliefs and spiritual beliefs differ in the ways in which they are practiced. However, each practice serves as a vehicle to lead you closer to the truth you seek. Whichever path or combination of the two you follow is the personal and subjective expression of your journey of awakening.


What characteristics distinguish spirituality from religion?

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?

  • Religion: This is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group.
  • Spirituality: This is more of an individual practice, and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose.
  • Organised vs freeform.

Which of the following is one of the main features characteristic of universalizing religions?

Universalizing religions offer belief systems that are attractive to the universal population. They look for new members and welcome anyone and everyone who wishes to adopt their belief system. Universalizing religions have many diverse members, who come from different ethnic backgrounds, hence the term universal.

Which kind of religious specialist would you expect to find in a foraging society?

Shamans are usually male part-time religious specialists with high status; they often enter trance (see the module Altered States of Consciousness) to interact with spirits; shamans are often the only religious practitioner in hunting and gathering societies (Winkelman 2010).

What is the broad definition of religious fundamentalism quizlet?

What is the broad definition of religious fundamentalism? the literal interpretation coupled with a strict adherence to the basic principles of a religion.

What is spirituality in religion?

Spirituality is the broad concept of a belief in something beyond the self. It may involve religious traditions centering on the belief in a higher power, but it can also involve a holistic belief in an individual connection to others and to the world as a whole.

Why is it important to distinguish religion from spirituality?

Religion aims to build one’s character. It shapes one’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions by giving importance to the adherence of rules. This unites people who share a religion, as they share character traits and outlooks on life. On the other hand, spirituality concentrates more on each person’s individual soul.

Which of the following is a characteristic of an ethnic religion which distinguishes it from a founder religion?

Which of the following is a characteristic of an ethnic religion which distinguishes it from a founder religion? Primarily hereditary membership. “Indo-European,” refers to: linguistic and cultural patterns found in India, Persia, Europe, and Central Asia.

What characteristics distinguish religion in Latin America from North America?

Which characteristic distinguishes religion in Latin America from religion in North America? Latin America has a Protestant majority while North America is mostly Roman Catholic. Latin America has a Roman Catholic majority while North America is mostly Protestant.

What is the difference between universalizing religion and ethnic religion?

Geographers distinguish two types of religions: universalizing and ethnic. A universalizing religion attempts to be global, to appeal to all people, wherever they may live in the world, not just to those of one culture or location. An ethnic religion appeals primarily to one group of people living in one place.

What is a religious specialist?

A religious specialist is one who devotes himself to a particular branch of religion or, viewed organizationally, of a religious system. “Religion” is a multivocal term whose range of meanings varies in different social and historical contexts.

What are religious practitioners in indigenous religion?

Religious practitioners are people who have some believe on a certain religion such as Christian, Islam, or Hindu. The practices of religious practitioners are based on the past events, ideas or myths of famous people who practiced their religion.

What is a part time religious specialist called?

The term shaman has been used for hundreds of years to refer to a part-time religious practitioner. Shamans carry out religious rituals when needed, but also participate in the normal work of the community.

Which of the following is most characteristic of religious fundamentalism?

Which of the following is most characteristic of religious fundamentalism? It is based on a literal interpretation of religious doctrine. (This contributes to their intolerance of others and, in some instances, violence.)

Which of the following is the defining feature of religious fundamentalism?

This scale defines religious fundamentalism along four dimensions: (1) the belief that there is a single set of religious teachings containing the fundamental, basic, intrinsic, inerrant truth about the deity and humanity; (2) this essential truth stands in opposition to evil, which must be actively fought; (3) the

What is the broad definition of religious fundamentalism?

What is the broad definition of religious fundamentalism? the literal interpretation coupled with a strict adherence to the basic principles of a religion.

Differentiating Spirituality from Religion

Patrick G. Love is an American businessman and author. Editor-in-Chief Contributor Religion and spirituality are sometimes seen as equivalent words, which is a misunderstanding. The connection between spiritual identity and sexual orientation in lesbian and gay college students was the subject of a presentation I delivered at a recent conference. One of the first remarks from the paper’s discussant was that I appeared to suggest that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons were religious or interested in religion, which he felt was not accurate based on his own experience.

Furthermore, I had expressly said in the article that spirituality and religion were not the same thing, and that my focus was on spirituality rather than religion.

I can also state that I have come across a number of religious individuals who were terribly lacking in terms of spiritual growth.

claim that spirituality is not the same thing as religion, albeit the two might be associated.” It has become clear to me since then that just asserting that fact is not sufficient.

  1. That is the widely held social notion that religion and spirituality are somehow identical; that even when great effort is made to distinguish between the two concepts, people are unable to help but identify the two concepts together.
  2. He was only the most recent in a long line.
  3. Given how much misery and agony religion had caused them in their lives, many people just did not want to talk about ideas of spirituality or religion in general.
  4. To begin, I will compare the formal definitions of the two concepts in question.

Lastly, I want to talk about the research that has been done on college students’ experiences and behaviors, and how that research may be reconceptualized if religion and spirituality are distinguished from one another.

Definitions of Religion and Spirituality

Let me begin with a brief discussion on religion. In 1979, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language published a definition of religion that read as follows:

  • Is a concern with what exists beyond the visible world (operating on the basis of faith and intuition rather than reason)
  • Generally includes the concept of an eternal principle, or transcendental spiritual entity that has created the world, governs it, controls its destinies, or intervenes occasionally in the natural course of its history
  • Is a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices that are generally agreed upon

This easy description encompasses all of the main faiths in American society, with the exception of Unitarian Universalism, which explicitly rejects the concept of a shared set of beliefs. Most major religions (including Christianity, Judaism and Islam) are concerned with the afterlife and involve a belief in God/Allah. They also share a common set of beliefs and practices (particularly as recorded in the Bible and the Koran), and they express themselves through rituals, prayers, and other practices.

Several years ago, a colleague and I (LoveTalbot, 1999) compiled a variety of definitions of spirituality from the literature of religion, social science, and other helpful disciplines and combined them into one comprehensive definition (e.g., nursing, counseling, social work).

  • Is an internal process of seeking personal authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness as an aspect of identity development
  • Is the process of continually transcending one’s current locus of centricity (e.g., egocentricity)
  • Is the development of a greater connectedness to oneself and others through relationships and union with community
  • Is the process of deriving meaning, purpose, and direction in one’s life
  • And
  • Involves an increasing openness to exploring a relationshi

Comparing the Definitions

Is an internal process of seeking personal authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness as an aspect of identity development; is the process of continually transcending one’s current locus of centricity (e.g., egocentricity); is the development of a greater connectedness to self and others through relationships and union with community; is the process of deriving meaning, purpose, and direction in one’s life; and; involves an increasing openness to exploring a relationshi

Beyond the Comparisons

One can also see the potential for significant resonance, interaction, and overlap between these two sets of criteria in these two sets of definitions. Religion, with its beliefs, practices, rituals, prayers, and spiritual exercises, can be, and for many people is, a wonderful means of exploring one’s spirituality and developing spiritually. Religion is a wonderful means of exploring one’s spirituality and developing spiritually. In order to follow their spiritual path, each individual needs a language, a context, and frequently a community to support them.

Religions and persons acting in the name of a religion have acted in ways that are diametrically opposed to the ideals of authenticity, completeness, transcendence, and connectivity that are stated in the definition of spirituality on a number of occasions.

Despite the fact that I am not an expert in all religions, I am unable to think of a single religion that does not fall into this classification.

That is, it appears to me, partly due to the mutating of ideas and practices into dogma and doctrines that may, in fact, have originated as spiritual exercises in the first place.

During the early stages of the religion’s development, the dynamic spiritual part of the faith was lost or suppressed. Religion and spirituality become estranged from one another.

Differentiated Notions of Religion and Spirituality Applied to College Students

Considering the development of traditional aged undergraduate students, we can see that distinguishing between the conceptions of religion and spirituality has genuine effects when we look at the development of traditional aged undergraduate students. Examples include the findings of researchers Pascarella and Terenzini (1991), who discovered that the majority of research done in the domain of religious attitude modification fell into two categories: general religiosity and participation in religious activities.

  1. Given that religion and spirituality are supposed to be one and the same thing, one may conclude that spirituality is also on the decline.
  2. It is possible to claim that some of them are related to the rejection of spirituality, but the majority do not address concerns of spirituality in the sense stated above; they are essentially basic outward measurements or procedures linked with religious beliefs and practices.
  3. While there are changes in students found in the literature over the past 30 years that are not generally connected with religion, they are consistent with the premises relating to spirituality and spiritual development and may be explained by a variety of factors.
  4. Each of these shifts may be argued to be at least in part spiritual in character, depending on your perspective.
  5. The literal interpretation of moral principles and religious teachings is prevalent throughout the early developmental phases.
  6. New professors may be discovered, but sooner or later, interpreters will come to dispute on their interpretations.

(p. 240-241) 240-241 Although spirituality is created within a community or tradition, this description is consistent with the definition of spirituality stated above in that spirituality is ultimately personal and individual, and it is a process.


I believe that the consequences for people who work with college students are self-evident. First and foremost, we must examine how we employ and interpret the concepts of religion and spirituality in our lives. Do we use them interchangeably as though they were synonyms? Do we make any distinctions between them in discussion and in practice? Do we object to others’ usage of the phrases as if they were interchangeable? After that, we must analyze the implications of our assumptions on our interactions with and views of our students in the classroom.

  • Do we acknowledge that a student’s rejection of his or her family’s religious beliefs and practices may, in fact, be a positive step in the student’s spiritual growth?
  • I believe that preserving and promoting religious pluralism in higher education has a great deal of value for those who are interested in promoting spiritual development on college campuses.
  • Finally, I believe that another aspect is the necessity for individuals dealing with college students to challenge them to distinguish between the two conceptions discussed above.
  • To provide feedback, comments, or critiques on this article, please email me at [email protected]
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A. Chickering and L. Reisser are two authors that have written about this topic (1993). Education and self-identification (2nd Ed.). Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco. P. G. Love and D. Talbot are co-authors of this paper (1999). Definition of spiritual development: A concern that has been overlooked in student affairs. The NASPA Journal, volume 37, number 1, pages 361-375. S. Parks et al (2000). mentoring young people in their search for meaning, purpose, and faith: big questions, worthwhile dreams Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.

  1. Pascarella and P.
  2. What college does to a person’s life.
  3. J.
  4. The Random House English language dictionary is a comprehensive resource for learning the English language.

Spirituality vs Religion: 3 BIG Differences Between Each

There may be affiliate links on this page, which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links, we will receive a small compensation. As an Amazon Associate, we receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via our links. Prior to making any online purchase, we encourage you to conduct your own research. One of the most effective techniques of increasing your happiness (in fact, we discuss 54 ideas in this post) is to attend church. However, one of the most effective approaches is to attend church.

The phrases “religion” and “spirituality” are frequently used interchangeably by the majority of people, however they refer to two very different notions.

In this post, we will define both terms and discuss how they vary from one another.

(Also, cultivating the habit of appreciation can help you achieve greater long-term pleasure. To discover more, read The 90-Day Gratitude Journal, which has writing prompts meant to help you increase your gratitude for what you have in life (and is available for purchase on Amazon).

Defining Religion

An institution with a set of organized practices and a structured belief system that members of the institution can agree on and share is referred to as a religion in most cases. Often transcendental, their views are passed down from member to member and are founded on either a formalized creed or long-established cultural traditions. The religious establishments of both the Eastern and Western worlds have professionals who serve in positions of leadership and who are responsible for the formal aspects of the institution.

Religion, as a community or group of people who hold the same religious ideas, serves as an enormously supportive social network.

A religion’s adherents frequently observe particular dress requirements (especially for religious leaders), moral norms, and acts that are prescribed by a supernatural power.

The rites and customs of the religion are observed by him or her, such as routinely attending church services on Sundays for Christians, keeping the Sabbath for Jews, and fasting throughout the month of Ramadan for Muslims.

Defining Spirituality

Spirituality is concerned with the soul and the inner self of a person. Being spiritual entails adhering to one’s own set of beliefs and practices while also seeking to understand one’s own life’s purpose. Individual definitions of spirituality can change throughout the course of a person’s lifetime as a result of personal study and self-reflection, and can adapt to different situations and circumstances. The ultimate goal of spirituality is to recognize one’s inherent ability to overcome all of life’s challenges and to establish a connection with something greater than one’s own being.

One might characterize a spiritual experience as sacred or sublime, or simply as a genuine sensation of aliveness and feeling interconnected, or as pure appreciation, depending on who is speaking.

As a matter of fact, some people may discover that their spirituality is intimately related to a religion, while others may develop their own unique contact with a higher force.

When it comes to the debate over religion versus spirituality, neither is inherently good or bad in and of themselves.

Religion upholds a clearly defined and concrete system of ethics, whereas spirituality is primarily intangible and difficult to describe. Both of these approaches of believing in something, on the other hand, enable individuals live happy and meaningful lives.

The Differences Between Spirituality and Religion

People who are spiritual are distinguished from those who are religious by the following characteristics:

1. Individual vs. Group Beliefs

People who are spiritual are distinguished from those who are religious by the characteristics listed below:

2. Progression of Beliefs

A spiritual person’s set of beliefs changes as they gain more knowledge and experience via their own particular study of spirituality. In religion, on the other hand, the belief system is generally predetermined. The acknowledged authorities of the religious organization reinforce or convey changes in the ideology that members of the religious group are expected to adhere to in order for them to be successful. This is one of the ways in which religion forces individuals to remain obedient to their beliefs, keeping them anchored to the scriptures or to what they have been taught by religious leaders.

People who practice religion are expected to be obedient to their beliefs.

However, spirituality encourages individuals to continually listen to their inner voice and utilize it as a guide in order to live a happy life, as opposed to religion.

As a result, someone who practices spirituality may find themselves changing their beliefs on a regular basis throughout their life.

3. Spirituality has no rules.

While developing their spirituality, a spiritual person is more likely to discover their own truths than they are to follow an ideology or set of laws, which is common among religious people. In many cases, the experience is personal and takes place in solitude, allowing people to follow their own instincts and perform the things that are most beneficial to them. However, while some spiritual traditions provide ideas and practices to aid people on their spiritual journeys, they are not intended to be taken as a system of beliefs in and of themselves.

  • A religious individual, on the other hand, accepts the truth as defined by his or her religion, and these facts are frequently documented and communicated to others in the faith community.
  • The reward for spirituality, on the other hand, is just one’s own inner tranquility.
  • The ramifications of how people spend their lives after they die are a source of anxiety for those who practice religion.
  • Spirituality, on the other hand, urges individuals to direct their energies toward positive things and to act purely in the name of love.
  • While spirituality does not threaten punishment for living a life in opposition to a set of principles, it does address the issue of karma on a regular basis.
  • This suggests that someone who lives with good intentions and does good acts will experience happiness in the future, whereas someone who lives with poor intentions and does terrible deeds will experience pain in the future.
  • Does your trust in God depend on the rituals of a particular religion to see you through moments when your faith begins to wane?

Put your faith in an organization to organize your views for you or do you choose which ideas to hold based on your own personal preferences. When attempting to identify whether or not you are religious or spiritual, these are critical questions to ask yourself and others.

4. Origination of Beliefs

Spiritual individuals frequently discover and develop their views as a result of their own personal experiences and observations (often through trial and error). This gives people the ability to uncover their own truths without placing any restrictions on the degree of one’s study of the subject matter. Another option is that a religious individual learns or develops their beliefs through the experiences they are told about their religious founders or through parables, rather than through direct instruction.

  1. When it comes to spirituality, there are no limitations to self-discovery.
  2. Spirituality is just the ability to perceive that every individual is more than just a physical body; they are a soul with limitless potential, as defined by the Buddhist teachings.
  3. People that are spiritual are able to adapt to new situations and make new discoveries as they progress through their lives.
  4. So, what exactly is the distinction between a spiritual and a religious person?
  5. People that are spiritual are able to adapt to new situations and make new discoveries as they progress through their lives.
  6. The contrast between believing and being is a significant distinction between religion and spirituality.
  7. While spirituality, on the other hand, is concerned with the process of getting attuned to one’s inner self, religion is not.


Finding the divine, whether from a church pew on a Sunday or from the top of a mountain looking down at an incredible dawn, helps us to feel more content, peaceful, and grateful for the life we have. Religion and spirituality are not synonymous with one another, nor are they completely distinct from one another. “Where do I find significance in life, and what are my actual values?” one could wonder when contemplating spirituality. When it comes to spirituality, common questions might include “What is the truth?” and “What constitutes right and wrong?” The point at where the two converge is in each person’s unique experiences, which have an influence on how they think, feel, and act.

We’d love to hear your responses, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below this article.

If you’d want to learn more, I recommend that you read The 90-Day Gratitude Journal, which has writing challenges that are intended to help you deepen your gratitude for what life has provided you thus far.

What is spirituality?

Perhaps you’ve heard others talk about spirituality but aren’t sure what it entails. Unlike religion, it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious beliefs or affiliation. Learn about the many types of spirituality available, as well as the reasons why some individuals choose to live spiritual lives.

What is spirituality?

Spirituality is something that is frequently discussed, but it is also something that is frequently misinterpreted. The majority of people mistakenly believe that spirituality and religion are synonymous, and as a result, they bring their religious ideas and prejudices into debates about spirituality. Despite the fact that spiritualism is emphasized by all faiths as a component of faith, it is possible to be’spiritual’ without being religious or a member of an organized organization.

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?

Religion and spirituality are distinct in a number of ways that are easily discernible. a precise set of organized ideas and practices that are generally held by a community or group of people; It is more of an individual practice, and it has to do with having a feeling of calm and purpose in one’s life. Spirituality It also refers to the process of forming views about the purpose of life and one’s connection with others, which occurs in the absence of any predetermined spiritual principles. Organizing vs.

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Similar to how religion might guide you to discover your spirituality, the rules, referees, other players, and the field markings all aid in guiding you as you play the game.

This is comparable to how spirituality may be expressed in life while not adhering to all of the rules.

Even if you identify as a blend of religious and spiritual, being religious does not inherently imply that you are spiritual, and vice versa.

Why do people practise spirituality?

A person’s life might be filled with ups and downs, happy times and bad times. Many individuals consider spirituality to be an excellent means of finding comfort and serenity in their lives. It is frequently used in conjunction with other techniques such as yoga, which are all geared at stress relief and emotional release. Spirituality is a method of getting a different viewpoint. Spirituality recognizes that your function in life has higher significance than the tasks you perform on a daily basis.

Spirituality may also be employed as a coping mechanism when faced with adversity or uncertainty.

What can I do now?

  • In life, there might be many ups and downs, as well as happy moments and sad moments. Many people consider spirituality to be a wonderful method to find comfort and calm in their lives, and they are correct. Exercises like yoga, which are ultimately geared toward stress relief and emotional release, can frequently be practiced in conjunction with meditation. Gaining a new viewpoint via spirituality When you practice spirituality, you acknowledge that your life has higher significance than the tasks you perform on a daily basis. It has the potential to free you from your reliance on material possessions and assist you in discovering the bigger meaning of your life. When faced with change or uncertainty, spirituality can also be a helpful tool.

Explore other topics

Finding the most appropriate place to begin can be difficult at times.

You can use our ‘What’s on your mind?’ feature to help you figure out what’s best for you. What exactly is on your mind?

Religion vs. Spirituality: The Difference Between Them

On the beach, a woman is meditating and doing yoga. iStockphoto/KristinaJovanovic/Getty Images/iStock It’s possible that you’ve heard the phrases religion and spirituality used interchangeably, or perhaps that you’ve used them yourself. However, while they are not diametrically opposed to one another, they are also not the same. Learn how to determine the difference between religion and spirituality by watching this video tutorial. For thousands of years, humanity has been driven by a desire to discover the Truth with a capital T—the ultimate answers to the questions of life and the cosmos.

  • Who am I
  • What do I desire
  • What is my purpose
  • What is the meaning of life
  • These are all questions that need to be answered.

According to the standpoint of the soul, historically, there have been two primary paths to discovering these truths: religious belief and spiritual practice. Despite the fact that they have many similarities and that they have a relationship with one another, there are significant variations between religion and spirituality. A religious system may be defined as a personal collection or organized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; it can also be defined as the worship and service of God or the supernatural.

“Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose, as well as the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred,” says Christina Puchalski, MD (a pioneer in the attempt to incorporate spirituality into healthcare).

Origins of Religions and Spirituality

Historically or archetypally, religious ideas and practices are most typically founded on the life, teachings, and beliefs of a historical or archetypal person (e.g.,Christ, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Muhammad). The details of their lives as holy or highly evolved beings have been passed down to us through oral tradition and written scriptures, which have survived the mists of time to this day. These figures are the subject of worship and devotion, and they serve as the foundation for religious practices and rituals in a community.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is more often based on the practical application of the founder’s teachings than on theorizing about it.

Instead, seek to be wise yourself.” Look for what they were looking for.”

The Lines Blur

If you have the impression that these definitions are becoming blurred and that they are crossing into each other’s area, you are not alone. For example, you may be acquainted with individuals who consider themselves spiritual but not religious in nature. Additionally, there can be individuals who are devoutly religious but who are not what most would consider to be deeply spiritual in their beliefs and practices. Let’s attempt to make things more obvious by taking a deeper look at the main distinguishing characteristics of religious and spiritual pathways.

Keep in mind that there are no absolutes in any of these classifications or differences. They are only generic markers intended to aid in the exploration of the differences and similarities between two equally viable approaches to the pursuit of truth.

Objective vs. Subjective Experience

Religion: On the whole, formal religion is frequently a purely objective experience, as opposed to spirituality. To put it another way, there is typically a larger emphasis on the externals:

  • Formal religion is often an objective experience, on the whole, and this is true for most of them. Or to put it another way, the externals are usually given more attention.

This is the equivalent of object-referral, in which your attention is drawn to the objects that you are encountering in your environment. Spirituality, on the other hand, tends to be more focused on self-referraor the internalization of one’s understanding of one’s soul. When it comes to spirituality, it is an interior journey that requires a shift in consciousness rather than any type of exterior action. As a result, spirituality is much more concerned with inner understanding than it is with external worship.

  • To something beyond oneself, such as a practice, item, or figurehead To your soul, higher self, or the divinity that is inside you

Organized vs. Formless

When it comes to a practice, thing, or figurehead that is external; To your soul, higher self, or the divinity that is inside you;

Traditional vs. Evolutionary Approach

The nature of religions is that, because of their centuries- to millennia-old histories, they are often profoundly rooted in tradition, ritual, creed, and doctrine. Tradition and original interpretations of the founder’s teachings are cherished by religious organizations, which adhere steadfastly to their traditions and beliefs and maintain a strong connection to the past. Given the fact that all religions wish to preserve the essence of their teachings in order for them to be accurately transmitted through history, this is an understandable reaction.

As the name says, this refers to both a more flexible and adaptive approach toward key teachings of the great wisdom traditions, as well as the knowledge that spiritual progress is an evolutionary process, as indicated by the name of the movement.

Individuals, societies, and the entire world move forward as a result of spiritual practice, and ideas and interpretations change as a result.

Exclusive vs. Inclusive

The traditional religious beliefs, which are frequently founded on rigorous interpretations of important teachings, can generate an exclusive worldview that separates individuals who do not have the same ideas or interpretations as the adherents of the tradition. Unfortunately, this religious “in-group” mentality can be used to justify the exclusion of minorities and those who are deemed unworthy of God’s blessing. Spirituality, on the other hand, makes no distinctions of this sort. Instead, it advocates for a more open and inclusive approach.

You are a member of the universal hologram, which includes all gods and goddesses who are masquerading as humans.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4, verse 11, Krishna explains how men approach him and how I receive them. “I am at the end of every path, Arjuna.” In other words, from a spiritual standpoint, there is no such thing as a monopoly on the truth of anything. In God’s sight, everyone is welcome.

Belief vs. Spiritual Experience

It all boils down to confidence in religious beliefs. The believe in anything is founded on the unconditional acceptance of the religious teachings, which is defined as follows: Religions, in contrast to the scientific worldview, do not require proof in order to justify their assertions. The teachings of religion teach you to place your trust in God or the scriptures as the infallible and ultimate source of knowledge about the universe. Acceptance and submission to the divine are emphasized as the route that leads to ultimate redemption in the religions of the world.

Spiritual disciplines such as meditation, yoga, solitude, and contemplation allow you to make conscious touch with more expanded levels of consciousness, allowing you to confirm the teachings by experience rather than simply accepting them on trust.

Fear vs. Love

Even with the best of intentions, religions can have a subtle (or not so subtle) undercurrent of dread woven into their teachings, which can be frightening to certain people. If you believe in the notions of original sin, divine judgement, God’s wrath, or eternal punishment, you may find yourself in a state of mind where you are filled with concern and anxiety about your worthiness, as well as if your acts will result in divine retribution or karma. You may be unaware of your fate in the hereafter until it appears as a phantom at the back of your mind, gently influencing your thoughts and conduct.

As a consciousness-based worldview, spirituality helps all human beings on their road to awakening by showering them with unconditional love and kindness at all times.

As you can see, there are significant differences between spirituality and religion; nonetheless, these comparisons are not meant to be absolutes or to seek to pit one against the other in any way.

Each practice, on the other hand, acts as a vehicle for bringing you closer to the truth you seek.

Are you ready to begin meditating? Installing the Chopra App, which provides access to hundreds of customised guided meditations from the comfort of your phone, is all it takes.

What is Religion?

1. What is the definition of religion? Religion can be defined in a variety of ways. It is not simple to define religion precisely and then to ensure that the definition differentiates religion from magic, as well as from cults and sects, which is not always the case. Lots of people offer definitions without having much understanding of the wide range religious phenomena and the numerous cultural manifestations of religion that are out there. A commonly held fallacy is that religion has anything to do with god, or gods, and supernatural entities, or with a supernatural or spiritual dimension or with a larger reality beyond what we can see.

There are more than 6.2 billion people on the planet Earth at the beginning of this millennium.

People are classified into various traditions based on educated guesses and educated assumptions.

  1. Christianity has a population of 2 billion people
  2. Islam has a population of 1.3 billion
  3. Hinduism has a population of 900 million
  4. Secular/nonreligious/agnostic/atheist has a population of 850 million
  5. Buddhism has a population of 360 million
  6. Chinese traditional religion has a population of 225 million
  7. Primal-indigenous has a population of 190 million
  8. Sikhism has a population of 23 million
  9. Yoruba religion has a population
The three religions that are proselytizing religions, seeking more members actively are: Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.Islam is the fastest growing of the traditions and will most likely have the most adherents in the world by 2020. Some of these religions have no belief in a god.Some have no belief in the survival of a soul.Some believe in more than one god.What do they have that makes them religion? Here is a definition that captures the common core and yet distinguishes religion from other institutions and phenomena.It is from Federick Ferre in his workBasic Modern Philosophy of Religion. Religion is the mostcomprehensiveandintensivemanner ofvaluingknown to human beings.We shall put this definition or understanding aside until the final chapter and after we have examined a number of important issues related to religion.For now it would be less abstract and more useful if the initial idea of religion would be phrased in terms of its characteristics which most people who have any experiences with religion can most likely identify. 2. Characteristics of Religion These are the common characteristics or family traits of those members of the category or �family� of religion.Just as with family members not every member must have every trait but most have most of the traits.The more any human phenomena demonstrates these traits the more likely it is that it will be included into this category of social institutions known as religion. Common Characteristics: (family traits)

  • The concept of a deity or an absolute, as well as that which is of ultimate concern and significance.
  • Descriptive description of the basic dilemma of human life and suffering concept of an afterlife-existence after death

The more any phenomena displays the characteristics above, it is likely to be accepted as a religion. The fewer the features demonstrated, the less likely it will be termed a religion.It might be termed magic, or sorcery, cult or some other description but not as a full fledged religion. 3. Religions of the West � the one GOD Religions of the West- Judaism-Christianity and Islam share in some common traits or characteristics that distinguish them from other religions in this world. These common features bind the three traditions of the West together. They share many similar ideas.Among those shared are: One god made the universe and along with it the beginning of time and that one god will end the universe.Each human has a soul and at the death of the body the soul shall separate from the body and go on into another dimension. There is a judgment to be made concerning the moral worthiness of the soul at death for an eternal reward or lack thereof. Time is linear and there is but one period of existence for individuals and the entire universe. There may be variations from these basic tenets of the faith or religious beliefs, however, these are ideas fairly typical for most of the religions of the West. Other religions hold for multiple deities or no deities at all, cyclic time and the reincarnation of souls, even multiple reincarnations. Some religions have no idea of a deity and some have no belief in the survival of a soul. As the Living Religions of the World are examined in all their variety in this work it is with the understanding that they display enough of the characteristics listed above to be well placed in the grouping or category labeled as “Religions.”

Defining Religion and Spirituality

  • In order to be able to discourse about religion and spirituality, as well as to scientifically investigate these notions, we must first develop working definitions for these terms. It is, however, surprisingly difficult to define religion and spirituality. In part, this is due to the fact that we are living in a world that is increasingly multi-cultural and multi-faith, and in part, this is due to the fact that the meanings of religion and spirituality evolve over time, and the meanings of these terms have rapidly changed over the last 50 years. Psychology and other social scientists viewed religion as a broad concept that encompassed both the individual and the institutional, both the good and the bad, as well as both traditional and nontraditional forms of spirituality for much of the 20th century, according to psychologists and other social scientists. As a matter of fact, some traditional definitions of religion would be difficult to distinguish from contemporary conceptions of spirituality. The term “spirituality” was coined in the later half of the twentieth century and gradually came to encompass some of the meanings associated with the term “religiousness.” Over time, broad-based religious perspectives gave way to narrower ones, and the terms religion and spirituality became increasingly polarized from one another. The phrases religion and spirituality are frequently used to draw sharp distinctions between them nowadays, such as religion as an institution against spirituality as an individual, and religion being harmful and spirituality being beneficial.

Are Religion and Spirituality Opposed to Each Other?

  • In our opinion, religion and spirituality do not have to be in opposition to one another. On the one hand, viewing religion solely as an institution overlooks the fact that such institutions care about the welfare of their individual members. On the other hand, viewing spirituality solely as an individual overlooks the many ways spirituality expresses itself in intimate relationships, marriages, families, friendships, organizations, communities and cultures. Spiritual manifestations of any kind take place in the context of a broader religious, social, and cultural setting
  • In a similar vein, the notion of religion as a “bad guy” does not square with the enormous number of studies that have demonstrated the advantages of various sorts of religious participation for health and well-being in many populations. Furthermore, the portrayal of spirituality as a “good guy” ignores its darker aspects, such as its ability to develop self-centeredness and insensitivity toward others. In sum, the tension between religion and spirituality may be exaggerated. According to studies, the vast majority of individuals in the United States identify as both religious and spiritual. For example, according to one national poll, about
  • Approximately 65 percent of Americans describe themselves as “religious and spiritual.” In the United States, 15 to 20 percent of people identify as “spiritual but not religious.” The majority of Americans (between 5 and 10 percent) identify as “religious but not spiritual.” The majority of Americans (between 5 and 10 percent) identify as “neither religious nor spiritual.” MarlerHadaway (2002) is the source for this information.

How Do We Define Spirituality for Scientific Study?

  • Our definition of spirituality, which is based on the work of Pargament, is “the search for the sacred” for the purpose of conducting scientific research. In this context, the adjectives “seek” and “holy” are crucial. “Sacred” does not only refer to concepts of God and higher powers
  • It also refers to other aspects of life that are perceived to be manifestations of the divine or imbued with divine-like qualities, such as transcendence, immanence, boundlessness, and ultimacy, which are all attributes of the divine. It is possible to bestow sacred status on virtually any aspect of one’s life, whether it is positive or negative. This includes beliefs, practices, experiences, relationships, motivations, art, nature, and war. Sacred search refers to a continuous journey, a process that begins with the discovery of something sacred and progresses through attempts to build and preserve a relationship with the sacred, and when necessary, efforts to transform nontraditional
  • They can follow well-trodden paths established by traditional institutions or they can construct their own distinctive pathways that have little if anything in common with established religions

How Do We Define Religion for Scientific Study?

  • We define religion, drawing on the work of Hill and Pargament, as “the quest for meaning that takes place within the context of established institutions that are meant to support spirituality.”
  • Once again, the term “search” refers to an ongoing journey of discovery, conservation, and transformation
  • In this case, however, the destination of the search is “significance,” a term that covers the many goals that religion can assist people in pursuing in their life journeys – psychological, social, physical, and spiritual destinations of significance to them
  • Religion occurs within the larger context of established institutions and traditions that have as their primary goal the preservation and transformation of the environment
  • Religion occurs within the larger context of established institutions and traditions that Mission religious institutions are distinguished by the spiritual nature of their mission
  • No other social institution has spirituality as its major objective
  • And no other social institution has spirituality as its primary purpose.

How Are Religion and Spirituality Alike?

  • Religious and spiritual practices have numerous characteristics. For starters, both religion and spirituality are centered on the holy
  • Second, both are centered on the sacred. Religion and spirituality would be indistinguishable from other concepts often employed in the greater area of psychology, such as well-being, community, meaning, hope, and authenticity, if there were no sacred element to distinguish between them. Second, both spirituality and religion are dynamic, ever-evolving processes that are always evolving. Over time, both alter and adapt in response to processes such as discovery, conservation, and transformative transformation. In this way, religion and spirituality may be seen of as essential components of the journeys that people do throughout their lives. Third, both spirituality and religion are multidimensional and multilevel processes that take place on many different levels. People might go along a number of different paths on their spiritual and religious journeys in order to reach the important destinations in their lives. There is no requirement that these courses be taken in isolation from other individuals. It is possible to think about both religion and spirituality in terms of how they are manifested by people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Individuals, couples, families, organizations, communities, and cultures are all examples of this. For the fourth time, spirituality and religion both have the potential to be both beneficial and detrimental
  • Finally, both spirituality and religion are important because they are concerned with matters of significant importance to the human race. Spirituality is focused toward a sacred location or places. When it comes to religion, it is aimed toward important goals, goals that may be holy in nature. It is actually impossible to discern between religion and spirituality when one concentrates on the holy

How Are Religion and Spirituality Different From Each Other?

  • Although religion and spirituality are similar in many ways, they also differ from one another on two important dimensions: function and context. Function refers to the significant goals associated with spirituality and religion
  • Context refers to the context in which spirituality and religion are practiced.
  • Spirituality is a goal in and of itself, while religion is aimed toward a broader variety of destinations or meaningful aims than spirituality. Religion serves the important function of facilitating spirituality itself, but it also serves a variety of other functions, including psychological, social, and physical functions
  • In contrast, spirituality focuses on the search for a single significant destination, the sacred
  • And religion and spirituality are not mutually exclusive.

When we speak about context, we are referring to the greater social milieu in which spirituality and religion take place.

  • Religion is more limited than spirituality when it comes to application in a given situation. Religion is integrated into a pre-existing, institutionalized framework of thought. By “established,” we mean organizations and institutions that have been in existence for a long time and whose mission it is to facilitate members’ connection with the sacred
  • On the other hand, while spirituality can be an important part of traditional religious life, it can also be expressed in nontraditional settings.

(This material was derived from Pargament, Mahoney, Exline, Jones, and Shafranske, which is now under publication.)

Recommended Resources:

  • The authors, P. C. Hill, K. I. Pargament, R. W. Jr. Hood, M. E. McCullough, J. P. Swyers Jr, D. B. Larson, and B. J. Zinnbauer, have published a paper in which they discuss their research (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: commonalities and differences, as well as points of departure 31-77 in the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, which is a quarterly publication. DOI: 10.1111/1468-5914.00119
  • Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A., Exline, J. J., Jones, J., Shafranske, E., Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A., Exline, J. J., Jones, J., Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A., Pargament, K. I., Pargament (in press). Developing an integrated framework for the psychology of religion and spirituality is a long-term project. In K. I. Pargament (Ed.-in-Chief), J. Exline (Ed.-in-Chief), ed. APA handbooks in psychology: APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality: Vol 1. J. Jones (associate editor), APA handbooks in psychology: Vol 1. (pp. xxx-xxx). American Psychological Association
  • Pargament, K. I. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
  • Pargament, K. I. (1999). Do you know anything about the psychology of religion and spirituality? Both yes and no. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Volume 9, Numbers 3-16, September 2003. A. Mahoney and K. I. Pargament published a paper in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (IJPR) with the DOI: 10.1207/s15327582ijpr0901 2 (2009). Spirituality is defined as the pursuit of the holy. Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed.) (pp. 611-620), New York: Oxford University Press
  • Zinnbauer, B., and Pargament, K. I. (eds. ), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed.), New York: Oxford University Press (1999). Problems and opportunities associated with the developing definitions of religiousness and spirituality Journal of Personality, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 889-919. DOI: 10.1111/1467-6494.00077
  • DOI: 10.1111/1467-6494.00077
  • B. J. Zinnbauer, K. Pargament, and colleagues (1997). Religion and spirituality: Untangling the tangles of ambiguity Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 549-564 10.2307/1387689
  • DOI: 10.2307/1387689

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