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date: 16 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

An enormous change in the semantic field of religion has occurred, by which ‘spirituality’ has emerged as a serious competitor for ‘religion.’ This chapter presents selected results of a recently completed research project about the semantics and psychology of spirituality. Regarding the semantics of spirituality, this research has identified ten components of ‘spirituality’ that characterize a variety of rather contradictory meanings: While ‘spirituality’ can be associated with a theistic worldview for some, it is associated with a non-theistic worldview by others; some understand ‘spirituality’ as lived religion, while others associate it with opposition to religion. The chapter concludes with a discussion of whether spirituality should be a concept in the scientific study of religion. While spirituality should not be established as a scientific concept (to compete with or replace ‘religion’), spirituality as self-attribution of the people on the street needs to be studied.

Keywords: semantics of spirituality, spirituality, god, religious self-identification, surveys, transcendence

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