The Correlation Between Religion and Spirituality

Zimbauer’s, “Religion and Spirituality”, shows and discusses the methods and results of a study to find correlations between religiousness and spirituality. Questioning primarily white respondents from a multitude of ages and beliefs, they asked how people identified, whether they felt if there was an overlap between the two, and looked to find whether there was a positive or negative connotation tied with either or both of the categories. The study found that spirituality was more closely linked to individual experience, while religiousness was tied to structured beliefs, groups, and organizations. The article showed a graph of each of the groups (religiously affiliated and not) questioned and showed their responses to whether they were religious, spiritual, or both. It was more common for New Age groups to identify with spirituality that religion and although spirituality had overall higher responses, Roman Catholics identified as both almost equally. Through the progression of this course there has been more and more evidence to show that identification with religion has been decreasing and spirituality has been increasing. After reading this article and Nancy Ammerman’s, “Sacred Stories, Sacred Tribes”, I have learned that it is possible to identify as both religious and spiritual, religious and not spiritual, and spiritual and not religious. I have begun to question which way our society will move with the shift from religiousness to spirituality. Will the ways our religious communities practice change to adapt to what people are believing? Will western religions grow more similar to eastern religions by focusing on one’s self and meditating? It will be interesting to see how these categories shift over time and if they stay separate categories all together.