What is the traditional meaning of spirituality?
What does the term 'spirit' mean etymologically?
What is the derivation of the term 'spirituality'?
What is the fourth way of spiritual practice in neo-Vedanta synthesis?
What is the spiritual practice in Sikhism?
What is the main emphasis of contemporary spirituality?
What is the common emphasis in spiritual development?
What is the contentious topic in scientific research related to spirituality and health?
What did the meta-analysis of all the available and reputable research examining the effects of distant intercessory prayer find?
The Meaning and Development of Spirituality
Spirituality has developed and expanded over time and has various meanings found alongside each other.
Spirituality traditionally referred to a religious process of re-formation oriented at the image of God, and aimed to recover the original shape of man.
In modern times, the term refers to a subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the deepest values and meanings by which people live.
Etymologically, the term "spirit" means an animating or vital principle in man and animals.
The term "spirituality" is derived from Middle French spiritualité, from Late Latin "spiritualitatem" (nominative spiritualitas), which is also derived from Latin spiritualis.
There is no single, widely agreed-upon definition of spirituality, which impedes understanding and communication of findings in a meaningful fashion.
Modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions, and Eastern religions, emphasizing subjective experience and the deepest values and meanings.
Classical, medieval, and early modern periods saw the meaning of spirituality change from being animated by God to the mental aspect of life, to a social and psychological meaning.
Modern spirituality developed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, mixing Christian ideas with Western esoteric traditions and elements of Asian, especially Indian, religions.
"Spiritual but not religious" is a new discourse that developed in which psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions, and eastern religions are blended to reach the true self by self-disclosure, free expression, and meditation.
There is no single definition of spirituality in Abrahamic faiths, but practices such as Jewish ethics, Jewish prayer, Jewish meditation, Shabbat and holiday observance, Torah study, dietary laws, teshuvah, and other practices are common.
Christian spirituality involves the spiritual practice of living out a personal act of faith, following the acceptance of faith, and Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity.Overview of Spiritual Practices in Different Religions and Cultures
Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that emphasizes non-violence, non-absolutism, and non-attachment. Its spiritual practice involves taking five main vows, with the Ṇamōkāra mantra as its most common prayer.
Buddhism has various paths to liberation, including the Noble Eightfold Path, Bodhisattva Path, and Lamrim. Its spiritual practice is called Bhavana and involves the development of the heart/mind, loving kindness, and other virtues.
Hinduism has no centralized religious authorities and defines spirituality as an individual experience. It identifies three ways of spiritual practice, namely Jñāna (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion), and Karma yoga (selfless action). Rāja yoga (contemplation and meditation) was added as a fourth way in the neo-Vedanta synthesis.
Sikhism considers spiritual and secular life to be intertwined. Its spiritual practice emphasizes the balance of separation-fusion, self-other, action-inaction, and attachment-detachment in daily life. There are no dogma, priests, monastics, or yogis in Sikhism.
African spirituality guides the welfare of society and eradicates sources of unhappiness occasioned by evil. In traditional African society, religion was the strongest element influencing the people's thinking and actions.
Contemporary spirituality is also called "post-traditional spirituality" and "New Age spirituality." It emphasizes the deepest values and meanings by which people live, often embracing the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality.
Spiritual experiences play a central role in modern spirituality, with both western and Asian authors popularizing this notion. The concept of "religious experience" was traced back to the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who argued that religion is based on a feeling of the infinite.
Spiritual practices include Jainism's five main vows and the Ṇamōkāra mantra. Buddhism's Bhavana involves the development of heart/mind and loving kindness. Hinduism identifies three ways of spiritual practice, namely Jñāna, Bhakti, and Karma yoga, with Rāja yoga added as a fourth way in the neo-Vedanta synthesis. Sikhism emphasizes the balance of separation-fusion, self-other, action-inaction, and attachment-detachment in daily life. African spirituality guides the welfare of society and eradicates sources of unhappiness caused by evil. Contemporary spirituality emphasizes the deepest values and meanings by which people live, often embracing the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality.Spirituality and its relationship with health and well-being is a contentious topic in scientific research. Spiritual practices may include meditation, mindfulness, prayer, ethical development, and spiritual retreats in a convent. Love and/or compassion are often described as the mainstay of spiritual development. There is a common emphasis on the value of thoughtfulness, tolerance for breadth and practices and beliefs, and appreciation for the insights of other religious communities. Various studies have reported a positive correlation between spirituality and mental well-being in both healthy people and those encountering a range of physical illnesses or psychological disorders. However, whether the correlation represents a causal link remains contentious. There is evidence that an agreeable/positive temperament and/or a tendency toward sociability might actually be the key psychological features that predispose people to subsequently adopt a spiritual orientation. Masters and Spielmans conducted a meta-analysis of all the available and reputable research examining the effects of distant intercessory prayer. They found no discernible health effects from being prayed for by others. Neuroscientists have examined brain functioning during reported spiritual experiences finding that certain neurotransmitters and specific areas of the brain are involved. A number of research groups have developed instruments which attempt to measure spirituality quantitatively, including the Spiritual Transcendence Scale (STS), the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) and the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale.
How much do you know about spirituality? Test your knowledge with our quiz on the meaning and development of spirituality, spiritual practices in different religions and cultures, and spirituality's relationship with health and well-being. Learn about the various definitions of spirituality throughout history, from traditional religious processes to modern subjective experiences. Explore the spiritual practices and beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, African spirituality, and contemporary spirituality. Discover the contentious topic of spirituality and its relationship with health and well-being, and
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