Religious spirituality

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Can someone be religious and yet not be spiritual? Can someone be spiritual without being religious?

5 thoughts on “Religious spirituality

  1. I think both positions are possible. People relate to religion and spirituality on a number of different levels. I once read a book by Gil Mann where he was discussing this in regards to Judaism, and he put a model out there that I have applied to myself when understanding how I relate to the gospel. He called it the “ESP” model.

    Think of three circles entwined in Venn diagram fashion. One is labeled peoplehood, one is spiritual, and one is ethical. He argued that people experience Judaism in different combinations of the three but each is valid entry points to the entity of “Judaism.” For example, someone might not love Sabbath services but really feels Jewish when doing service to the elderly. This means they hang out mostly in the ethical circle.

    When I think of Mormonism, it seems easy to see corollaries. There are members who get a lot out of Temple worship and family devotions which might stem from a sense of the spiritual dimension, whereas other members feel most “religious,” “spiritual,” or whatever at ward socials or listing to the Tab, i.e. the peoplehood dimension. Other might feel engaged by doing HT/VT and showing up at service activities, or in other words finding fulfillment in the ethical side of Mormonism. In addition, as with the Venn diagram these circles overlap. For example, a priesthood holder may feel very religious and/or spiritual when giving a blessing to a person in the hospital – combining the ethical element with the spiritual one. Ideally, all three circles meet in the Temple but as with all things in the human condition, it may be line upon line for some people, which is why I think relating to spirituality can work in either direction.

  2. Perhaps “religious without being spiritual” applies to the way the Lord described the churches on the earth at the time, when He first appeared to Joseph Smith.

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