What does it mean when someone says they are "spiritual?"


Religiosity, Spirituality, and God Concepts

Abstract

Within a German sample (N = 478), the current cross-sectional questionnaire study conducts interreligious and interdenominational comparisons between Catholics, Protestants, free-church Protestants, Baha'is, Muslims, Spiritualists, ie., religiously unaffiliated persons who label themselves as "spiritual," and religious/spiritual "nones." The comparisons refer to self-ratings of religiosity and spirituality, centrality of religiosity, as assessed by the Centrality of Religiosity Scale, and God concepts. The study is largely exploratory in nature, but also aims at identifying contexts of faith in which the term "spiritual" is typically used as a self-description. The results show that only Spiritualists and free-church Protestants substantially label themselves as "spiritual." However, they differ in many aspects from each other, thus representing two distinct contexts of faith. The results further reveal a medium position of Catholics and Protestants in between the other subgroups, commonalities as well as specific differences between free-church Protestants, Baha'is, and Muslims, and some religious/spiritual approaches even within the "nones."

 

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Citation

Zwingmann, C., & Gottschling, S. (2015).Religiosity, spirituality, and god concepts. Archive For The Psychology Of Religion-Archiv Fur Religionspsychologie37(1), 98-116.

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