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raditionally, spirituality refers to a religious process of re-formation which "

aims to recover the original shape of man," oriented at "the image of God" as ex
emplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world. In mod
ern times the emphasis is on subjective experience of a sacred dimension[1] and
the "deepest values and meanings by which people live,"[2][3] often in a context
separate from organized religious institutions.[4] Modern spirituality typicall
y includes a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm,[5
] personal growth,[6] a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning,[7] religious exper
ience,[8] or an encounter with one's own "inner dimension."[9]
The meaning of spirituality has developed and expanded over time, and various co
nnotations can be found alongside each other.[10][11][12][note 1] The term "spir
ituality" originally developed within early Christianity, referring to a life or
iented toward the Holy Spirit.[13] During late medieval times the meaning broade
ned to include mental aspects of life, while in modern times the term both sprea
d to other religious traditions[14] and broadened to refer to a wider range of e
xperience, including a range of esoteric traditions.
Contents [hide]
Development of the meaning of spirituality
Classical, medieval and early modern periods
Modern spirituality
3.2.1 Transcendentalism and Unitarian Universalism
3.2.2 Neo-Vedanta
3.2.3 Theosophy, Anthroposophy, and the Perennial Philosophy
3.2.4 "Spiritual but not religious"
Traditional spirituality
Abrahamic faiths
4.1.1 Judaism
4.1.2 Christianity
4.1.3 Islam Five pillars Sufism Jihad
Asian traditions
4.2.1 Buddhism
4.2.2 Hinduism Four paths Schools and spirituality
4.2.3 Sikhism
African spirituality
Contemporary spirituality
Spiritual experience
Spiritual practices
Scientific research
6.3.1 Health and well-being Intercessionary prayer
6.3.2 Spiritual experiences Spiritual care in health care professions
See also
Published sources

Further reading
External links
The term spirit means "animating or vital principle in man and animals".[web 1]
It is derived from the Old French espirit[web 1] which comes from the Latin word
spiritus (soul, courage, vigor, breath)[web 1] and is related to spirare (to br
eathe).[web 1] In the Vulgate the Latin word spiritus is used to translate the G
reek pneuma and Hebrew ruah.[web 1]
The term "spiritual", matters "concerning the spirit",[web 2] is derived from Ol
d French spirituel (12c.), which is derived from Latin spiritualis, which comes
from spiritus or "spirit".[web 2]
The term "spirituality" is derived from Middle French spiritualit,[web 3] from La
te Latin "spiritualitatem" (nominative spiritualitas),[web 3] which is also deri
ved from Latin spiritualis.[web 3]
There is no single, widely agreed definition of spirituality.[11][12][note 1] Su
rveys of the definition of the term, as used in scholarly research, show a broad
range of definitions[10] ranging from very narrow and uni-dimensional definitio
ns such as a personal belief in a supernatural realm[5] to broader concepts such
as a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning,[7] transcending the base/material as
pects of life, and/or a sense of awe/wonderment and reverence toward the univers
e. A survey of reviews by McCarroll e.a. dealing with the topic of spirituality
gave twenty-seven explicit definitions, among which "there was little agreement.
"[10] This causes some difficulty in trying to study spirituality systematically
; i.e., it impedes both understanding and the capacity to communicate findings i
n a meaningful fashion. Indeed many of spirituality's core features are not uniq
ue to spirituality alone; for example German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (a
famous atheist) regarded self-transcendence, asceticism and the recognition of o
ne's connection to all as a key to ethical living (see)
According to Waaijman, the traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of r
e-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God.
To accomplish this, the re-formation is oriented at a mold, which represents the
original shape: in Judaism the Torah, in Christianity there is Christ, for Budd
hism, Buddha, and in Islam, Muhammad."[15] In modern times the emphasis is on su
bjective experience[1] and the "deepest values and meanings by which people live
,"[2][3] incorporating personal growth or transformation, usually in a context s
eparate from organized religious institutions.[4] Houtman and Aupers suggest tha
t modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric
traditions and eastern religions.[6]
Spirituality is sometimes associated with philosophical, social, or political mo
vements such as liberalism, feminist theology, and green politics.[16] Some argu
e (though far from universally accepted see those who espouse secular humanism)spi
rituality is intimately linked to resolving mental health issues, managing subst
ance abuse, marital functioning, parenting, and coping.
Development of the meaning of spirituality[edit]
Classical, medieval and early modern periods[edit]
Words translatable as 'spirituality' first began to arise in the 5th century and
only entered common use toward the end of the Middle Ages.[17] In a Biblical co
ntext the term means being animated by God,[18] to be driven by the Holy Spirit,
as opposed to a life which rejects this influence.[13]
In the 11th century this meaning changed. Spirituality began to denote the menta
l aspect of life, as opposed to the material and sensual aspects of life, "the e

cclesiastical sphere of light against the dark world of matter".[19][note 2] In

the 13th century "spirituality" acquired a social and psychological meaning. Soc
ially it denoted the territory of the clergy: "The ecclesiastical against the te
mporary possessions, the ecclesiastical against the secular authority, the cleri
cal class against the secular class"[20][note 3] Psychologically, it denoted the
realm of the inner life: "The purity of motives, affections, intentions, inner
dispositions, the psychology of the spiritual life, the analysis of the feelings
".[21][note 4]
In the 17th and 18th century a distinction was made between higher and lower for
ms of spirituality: "A spiritual man is one who is Christian 'more abundantly an
d deeper than others'."[21][note 5] The word was also associated with mysticism
and quietism, and acquired a negative meaning.[citation needed]
Modern spirituality[edit]
See also: History of Westerm esotericism and New Age
Modern notions of spirituality developed throughout the 19th and 20th century, m
ixing Christian ideas with westen esoteric traditions and elements of Asian, esp
ecially Indian, religions. Spirituality became increasingly disconnected from tr
aditional religious organisations and i