Religion v. Spirituality?

Posted: August 18, 2011 by Ty in Spirituality
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The Parliament Newsletter
Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue
Religion versus Spirituality
by Joseph McCann
from the Journal of Inter-Religious DialogueNowadays, people commonly say: “I am not religious—but I am spiritual.” These are not new ideas. The distinction between “Spirituality” and “Religion” has been around for a long time, though the meanings have changed.

“Spirituality” begins as a distinction between the spiritual moral realm and the moral realm of fleshly desires, for example, when Paul the Apostle advises the early Christians to go into training, to subdue their lower desires in favor of heavenly things. But Paul was a Jew and that was a Jewish distinction. Confusion soon arose with the Greek distinction between soul and body, which was not the same thing at all. Then a political perspective arose in the Middle Ages between the responsibility of the Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. Some of the Reformers pointed to a contrast between the experience of religious oppression in the established churches and the spiritual and personal faith of the children of God. Our contemporary notions of the spiritual reflect undertones from this conceptual history.

“Religion” too is a western European idea, rooted in the notion of “binding people together” with their family, their country and their gods. It came to refer especially to the opening of the human to the transcendent, that is, to that which goes beyond the individual, including whatever is “the other,” “the certain,” “the sacred,” and “the holy.”

Click here to download the full article (pdf)


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Comments
  1. Study says religion heading to extinction « Earthpages.org says:

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  3. Jim Hilgendorf says:

    There is a new religion coming. It is something beyond all current formalized religions. It is the universe itself coming to fruition and bloom.

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