Differentiate between Spirituality vs. Religion
Spirituality is distinct from institutionalized religion. While religion often looks
outward depending on rites and rituals; spirituality looks inward—the kingdom
within. Spirituality is non-dogmatic, non-exclusive, gender neutral, and non-patriarchal approach to connect with this one source of all existence. It signifi es that regardless of our surface differences, there is an underlying sacred commonality, the
Ground of Being, to borrow a phrase from Paul Tillich. One writer (Adler, 1992 )
aptly captures the essence of this difference through the title of a book: Truth in
Religion: Plurality of Religions and Unity of Truth .
Despite the fact that a review of eighty-seven scholarly articles found that most
researchers couple spirituality and religion together (Dent, Higgins, & Wharff,
2005 ), according to a recent Pew Report , nearly one in fi ve Americans identify
themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” 1
Many people these days like to selfidentify as “spiritual but not religious,” not because they are antagonistic to any
religious institution, but simply because there’s no one institution that fi ts their
spiritual ideology. Frequently, they like to combine elements of various religious
traditions and spiritual philosophies such as Buddhism, Vedānta, Sufi sm, and
Judeo- Christianity into something that uniquely resonates with them.