What’s the difference between religion and spirituality ? Religion is a specific set of organised beliefs and practices, usually shared by a community or group. Spirituality is more of an individual practice and has to do with having a sense of peace and purpose.
Religion is a set of texts, practices and beliefs about the transcendent shared by a community, and involves a relationship with God. Spirituality on the other hand is about a person’s relationship with the transcendent questions that confront one as a human being. This may or may not involve relationships with God.
Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no god . However, an agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves in a god or religious doctrine. Agnostics assert that it’s impossible for human beings to know anything about how the universe was created and whether or not divine beings exist.
A recent TODAY survey indicated that 77 percent of participants see a difference between religion and spirituality , with more than 70 percent of respondents indicating it’s more important to be spiritual than religious .
Many of the behaviors associated with wellness are key components of a healthy spiritual life. Examples include volunteerism, social responsibility, optimism, contributing to society, connectedness with others, feeling of belonging/being part of a group, and love of self /reason to care for self .
Many people think that spirituality and religion are the same thing, and so they bring their beliefs and prejudices about religion to discussions about spirituality . Though all religions emphasise spiritualism as being part of faith , you can be ‘ spiritual ‘ without being religious or a member of an organised religion .
Spiritual beliefs include the relationship to a superior being and are related to an existential perspective on life, death , and the nature of reality. Religious beliefs include practices / rituals such as prayer or meditation and engagement with religious community members.
Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature. An opening of the heart is an essential aspect of true spirituality .
The Apostle Paul in the Christian New Testament described calling as a summons from God to practice particular spiritual gifts such as teaching, preaching, or prophecy (Rehm, 1990).
Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a God or gods , but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable.
The belief that God or gods exist is usually called theism. People who believe in God but not in traditional religions are called deists. People who believe that the definition of ” God ” should be defined before taking a theological position are ignostic. In some religions there are many gods . This is called polytheism.
Omnism is the recognition and respect of all religions or lack thereof; those who hold this belief are called omnists (or Omnists). Many omnists say that all religions contain truths, but that no one religion offers all that is truth.
Spirituality is the shorthand term used in Western society to talk about a person’s relationship with God . For many people, how they think about religion and spirituality is certainly guided by what they see and do in their congregations.
Healthy spirituality gives a sense of peace, wholeness and balance among the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of our lives. However, for most people the path to such spirituality passes through struggles and suffering, and often includes experiences that are frightening and painful.
It also turns out that people who have religious or spiritual beliefs are happier than those who don’t, no matter what their beliefs. Religious beliefs, she says, “ give people a sense of meaning.” It also gives them a social network. “It gives a sense of well being or comfort.”