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What's the difference between "spiritual" and "religious"?

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2012 5:51:23 PM PST
jpl says:
I don't want to generalize. I'd like to hear why some people label themselves "spiritual" instead of "religious".

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 6:34:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 6:34:32 PM PST
I'd say that "spiritual" was "matters pertaining to the contemplation of one's relationship to the universe", whereas "religious" was "the contemplation of spirituality in the context of a particular religion's beliefs."

One can be "spiritual" without necessarily believing in the existence of deities, souls, etc.

(BTW, wouldn't this be better asked in the "Religion" forum as opposed to the "Christianity" forum?)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 6:39:46 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 14, 2012 6:40:31 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 6:41:35 PM PST
A Customer says:
There are two meanings of "spiritual". There is the field of theology called Spiritual Theology, which encompasses all of Ascetical Theology and Mystical Theology, and covers the detailed growth in pray life leading to the Transforming Union, a spiritual union of the soul with God. Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila wrote extensively of this growth in unfused prayer.

The second meaning of "spiritual" is a kind of feeling that some people have that they don't like organized religions, or any religion with any kind of structure, but they need to feel there's something out there. So they kind of go for whatever some "spiritual" flavor of the month someone somewhere is pitching in the New Age section of the book store.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 6:42:19 PM PST
Amon says:
Spiritual= Non-dogmatic

Religious= Dogmatic

Its as simple as that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 6:46:21 PM PST
Amon, Spiritual= practice of prayer and love that was learned by the dogma of Christ as revealed through His Church. Peace always in the Most Precious Blood of Jesus our Great God and Saviour

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 6:47:50 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Religion means to realign, or to bind together. Religion is the invocation by human beings and the response, or evocation, from Spirit. So the two are not as dichotomous as it might seem, but in current parlance, Amon's definition is one of the best.

My take on "spiritual" is accepting that there is something beyond the material, that life is found everywhere and not just in sentient beings. Religion in today's world seems to mean believing something taught by others, some scripture, some guru, some divine being who came "down", like Christ, or Buddha or Mohammed. To be "spiritual" means you don't have to cling to any such belief, that you can see the divine in everything.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:06:46 PM PST
Nova137 says:
Spirit, if real, is in and animates everyone. Thus, if I profess to being "spiritual," I have simply uttered a truth of being human. Yes, if one God of a particular religion is THE god, well, spirit is there, too. But, many may not adhere to any religion and its doctrines.

I can tie the word spirit to the mystery of our lives. This mystery then ties into every religious myth. At least, it has that kind of power. It can also represent then, the little mystery in each of our lives such as what the next day on earth has in store for us while simultaneously representing the mystery of the unknowable which continually makes itself known in all things.

Again, spirit contains religion and all tales, be this just the start of all tales or the fact of life as spiritual in nature giving rise to religion in one of its facets.

Spirit of the thing works for everybody. "That's the spirit!" "She has a lot of spirit!" Spirit isn't locked down. It has less baggage than religion.

Spirit is mutable, changable, like water and air it fits every shape. Spirit can fill every form. A spiritual person can be like spirit. A spiritual person can move continually into and around and upon all things, weaving and caressing each form, slowly changing the shapes it touches. At the same time, spirit assumes the likeness of those things it comes into contact with, never giving itself away completely, it remains mysterious. A spiritual person is naturally like this, giving of itself, moving with natural forces, pushing others out of harm's way, modifying internally itself to reflect, like a great mirror, the best face in the mirror.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:10:18 PM PST
A Customer says:
Nancy, I wasn't actually thinking of you when I wrote my post. Well, maybe I was.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:23:59 PM PST
Nova137 says:
Well said. Also, I agree this would be better discussed in the Religion forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:26:10 PM PST
Nova137 says:
Good one Amon.

How about:

Spiritual = a social contract with everyone?

Religious = everyone must contract socially as one, exclusive of another?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 7:59:23 PM PST
Astrocat says:
Macheath, I wasn't responding to your post, but to the OP.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 7:12:44 AM PST
Rubedo says:
Spirituality deals with one's reflection on life.
Religion deals with specific disciplines and practices that follow from those reflections.
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  Nov 14, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 15, 2012

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