The Semantics of 'Spirituality' and Related Self-Identifications: A Comparative Study in Germany and the USA

Archive for the Psychology of Religion 35 (1):71-100 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Culturally different connotations of basic concepts challenge the comparative study of religion. Do persons in Germany or in the United States refer to the same concepts when talking about ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’? Does it make a difference how they identify themselves? The Bielefeld-Chattanooga Cross-Cultural Study on ‘Spirituality’ includes a semantic differential approach for the comparison of self-identified “neither religious nor spiritual”, “religious”, and “spiritual” persons regarding semantic attributes attached to the concepts ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ in each research context. Results show that ‘spirituality’ is used as a broader concept than ‘religion’. Regarding religion, semantics attributed by self-identified religious persons differ significantly from those of the spiritual persons. The ‘spiritual’ and the ‘religious’ groups agree on semantics attributed to spirituality but differ from the ‘neither spiritual nor religious’ group. Qualifications of differences and agreements become visible from the comparison between the United States and Germany. It is argued for the semantically sensitive study of culturally situated ‘spiritualities’.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Towards Religious-Spirituality: A Multidimensional Matrix of Religion and Spirituality.Sahaya G. Selvam - 2013 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 12 (36):129-152.
The cross-cultural study of semantic structure.Paul Friedrich - 1964 - [Philadelphia?]: [Philadelphia?]. Edited by Robbins Burling.
Spirituality and Social Work.Maryann Krieglstein - 2006 - Dialogue and Universalism 16 (5-6):21-29.
Religiosity Scales: What Are We Measuring in Whom?Marsha Cutting & Michelle Walsh - 2008 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 30 (1):137-153.
Religiosity Scales: What Are We Measuring in Whom?Marsha Cutting & Michelle Walsh - 2008 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie 30 (1):137-153.
Spirituality, ethics, and care.Simon Robinson - 2008 - Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.


Added to PP

28 (#570,908)

6 months
5 (#643,111)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning.James W. Fowler & Robin W. Levin - 1984 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 15 (1):89-92.
Spiritualität.[author unknown] - 1976 - Theologie Und Philosophie 51 (4):621.
Spiritualität.[author unknown] - 1972 - Theologie Und Philosophie 47 (4):630.

Add more references