Spiritualityand religion are often confused as synonyms for either word, yet theyhave different meanings. An individual can be religious, but lackspirituality. The opposite may also apply when a person becomesspiritual, but does not conform to a particular religion. The paperwill discuss the differences between religion and spiritualitystarting with religion.
Accordingto WorthingtonJr & Sandage (2001), religion is a combination of many elementsranging from faith, instinct and dependence on a deity or deities fornourishment and answers regarding the unseen matters of the world.Religion is practical and visible. The dependence of people on aspiritual being that created them and controls their destiny is afundamental factor of religion. Religion is a set of practicesincorporated into daily life that becomes a habit. The practicesinclude prayer and worship, conduction of rituals and prescribing tocertain principles and a way of life.
However,spirituality focuses on the internal self, the conscience of a personand determines the identity path taken by the individual. Worthington& Sandage (2001) also opine that Spirituality determines theconnection of a person’s inner being with other people and naturearound.Spirituality is not a visible process and focuses on thedevelopment of the intangible values that help an individual grow. Aperson derives meaning and purpose of their life regardless ofdependence on any external force.
Polland Smith’s poll model of spiritual identity notes that peopledevelop a spiritual identity based on a higher power, a deity withwhom they interact via spiritual means. A spiritual identity isdependent on the interaction between a person and a higher being andacceptances of spiritual influences. The model is a sensible argumentit poses from the interaction of humans with God.
WorthingtonJr E. L & Sandage S. J. (2001). Religion and spirituality.Psychotherapy:Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 38(4),473.