Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the growing literature on spirituality. Spirituality is defined as a search for the sacred. The term search indicates that spirituality is a process, one that involves efforts to discover the sacred, hold onto the sacred once it has been found, and transform the sacred when necessary. Spirituality is a process that unfolds in different ways, depending on a unique blend of biological, social, psychological, situational, and transcendent forces. At its best, spirituality is broad and deep, responsive to life’s situations, nurtured by the larger social context, capable of flexibility and continuity, and oriented toward a life-enhancing destination. At its worst, spirituality lacks scope and depth, clashes unnecessarily with the surrounding social system, changes and shifts too easily or not at all, and misdirects the individual in the pursuit of spiritual value. Social scientists and health professionals have begun to develop spiritually integrated interventions, with some promising results.

Keywords: coping, culture, religion, sacred, spirituality, struggle, transformation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.