The Relationship Between Religion and Spirituality


The overlap between religion and spirituality is often apparent, especially in terms of the action they involve. In particular, religion and spirituality embody action in the form of rituals and derivations. This action is closely related to the static-dynamic aspect of both concepts. For example, Sharon Parks writes in her book, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams, that “faith development” is an essential aspect of spiritual development. Faith is a complex concept, with many different meanings.

As a social institution, religions can be defined as “communities of believers” or “groups of adherents.” Both are important in shaping one’s personality. Religious practices aim to develop character and create rules and norms that shape a person’s actions and beliefs. Spirituality, on the other hand, focuses on the individual’s soul.

Religions also promote social solidarity and moral codes. Leaders of a religion perform rituals related to core beliefs, laying the groundwork for how a person should live his or her life. Moreover, religions have practical implications for people’s everyday behaviors. For example, religious members typically follow distinctive dress codes, moral codes, and rules for action mandated by a supernatural being.

During stressful times, religious people experience less physiological reactivity than their extrinsic counterparts. Their physical health is also enhanced.

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