You may have heard—or even used—the terms religion and spirituality interchangeably. But while they aren’t diametric opposites, neither are they the same. Learn how to tell the difference between religion and spirituality.
For thousands of years, humanity has passionately pursued the Truth with a capital T—the ultimate answers to life and the universe. This perennial knowledge constitutes the answers to what are often called the soul questions:
Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my purpose?
What is the meaning of life?
Historically, from the perspective of the soul, there have been two foundational routes to discover these truths: religion and spirituality. Although they have many similarities and there is a relationship between the two, there are differences between religion and spirituality.
Religion: By definition, religion is a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; the service and worship of God or the supernatural.
Spirituality: Spirituality, on the other hand, connotes an experience of connection to something larger than you; living everyday life in a reverent and sacred manner. Or as Christina Puchalski, MD (leader in trying to incorporate spirituality into healthcare), puts it, “Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.”