Beyond "Religion" and "Spirituality"

Extending a "Meaning Systems" Approach to Explore Lived Religion

Abstract

A review of recent research suggests that academic and popular distinctions between "religion" and "spirituality" are unfounded. Working from a meaning system perspective, it is argued that recognizing that "religious" and "spiritual" are part of the same broad category does not go far enough. It is argued that a wider perspective that considers the interplay of many different cultural and social factors on both beliefs and practices is more useful. This broadening of the multi-level, interdisciplinary paradigm to examine all existential cultures, including the secular and non-religious, offers the potential to better understand the complexity and diversity of lived religion. Increased use of idiographic methodologies and a more reflective approach to the constructs used in nomothetic methodologies are advocated as a way to advance the field and better explorebeliefs and practices in a more ecologically valid way.

 

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Citation

Murphy, J.. (2017). Beyond "religion" and "spirituality." Extending a "meaning systems" approach to explore lived religion. Archive For The Psychology Of Religion-Archiv Fur Religionspsychologie39(1), 1-26.