Religion Versus Spirituality

Religion Versus Spirituality

Everyone has a spiritual component, but not everyone is religious.

Religion is generally recognized to be the practical expression of spirituality; the organization, rituals and practice of one’s beliefs.
Davis, 1995

Religion includes specific beliefs and practices, while spirituality is far broader.
Ebersole & Hess, 1998

Context and Relationship

Religious traditions can give us a historical context, sacred texts and famous figures. Religions are a useful framework that can help us to chart a way to learn about and get to know God.

Spirituality is different to religion. It’s individual. It’s just us and God – without all the trappings of rules and expectations. In fact you don’t have to be religious to know God. He is there for each of us listening, ready to build a relationship.

It may be easier to think in terms of religions staying largely the same over centuries and spirituality (our relationship with God) as more personal as we get to know somebody new. As in any relationship we have to be there, we have to listen and we grow to love each other. We celebrate our successes and when times get tough we depend upon each other..

Learning about religion is very different to learning about the God who wants to communicate with us and help us. One is often a history lesson and the other is a about the key challenges facing us at the moment.

What’s the difference between Religion and Spirituality?

  • One is about a passive past (Religion) and the other is about an active present (Spirituality).
  • One is man made (Religion) and the other is made for man (Spirituality)

Physical strength can never permanently withstand the impact of spiritual force.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.
Martin Luther

Religion brings to man an inner strength, spiritual light, and ineffable peace.
Alexis Carrel

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life, think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success; this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.
Swami Vivekananda

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