The Relationship Between Religion And Spirituality Essay

1024 Words Sep 5th, 2014 5 Pages
If religion is defined as “…the direct expression of universal human needs” (Bainbridge & Stark in Davie, 2007, p. 71) while spirituality is defined as “…the deepest values and meanings by which people seek to live” (Sheldrake, 2007, p. 1) it’s clear that the two seem distinctly separate. This essay will explore the definitions for both terms while examining the relationship between religion and spirituality, which are undoubtedly connected. It will assess how spirituality can exist without religion, religion without spirituality, and what happens when they meet, using evidence and practical examples.

Religion and spirituality are terms with blurred lines, the meanings of which can be very subjective. To understand how they differ, a definition of each must be accepted. Theorists agree that religion is understood as having dogma and being authoritative, structural, organised and social (Bouma, 2006, p. 15) (Woodhead, et al., 2009, p. 321). Durkheim (1915, p. 47) describes religion as “…a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into a single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.” In this case, religion is seen as a group or social construct, specifically, the monotheistic religion of Christianity. Religions are widely accepted to have sets of rules, or creeds, which encourage specific forms of worship defined by each faith (Bouma, 2006, p.…

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