What is the Difference Between Religion and Spirituality?
The word “religion” refers to organizations which were originally set up to cater for the needs of people who held a particular set of beliefs. Some religions stretch back in history for hundreds or even thousands of years. Other groups have been established more recently in response to changing social and political circumstances.
A more encompassing term is that of “spirituality”. Adherents of many religions would describe themselves as spiritual beings. Various traditions, including Christianity and Islam, teach that our lives can be enriched when we connect with the divine being referred to as the “Holy Spirit”. There are, however, many people who are not connected with any religion but who would describe themselves as spiritual. These individuals may respond at a deep level to the wonders of nature, or they may have life-changing experiences when they immerse themselves in one of the arts.
A person who embraces a religious faith may not exhibit any of the qualities that are believed to result from a spiritual experience. Conversely, a person who has no religious beliefs may display spiritual qualities that seem to bypass the person of faith.
What do you think? Is there a difference? Can you be religious and spiritual?