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On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 4:31 PM, Lee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> --- On Sun, 6/6/10, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I continue to differentiate terms religious/religion and spiritual/spirituality, while common usage seems to be gradually merging them.

Among Catholics, at least, the term "spirituality" is more specific
than "religion"; it tends to refer to particular sets of emphases and
optional practices in which people who believe and practice the same
religion can differ.  For instance, there are spiritualities
associated with particular saints and the religious orders or lay
organizations they founded or which were founded by others under their
influence: Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuit, etc.  The word is rarely
used by Protestants in my experience.

> I also find myself unconsciously adding a connotation of superficiality to the term spiritual, because most people I encounter who apply the term [spiritual] to themselves IMO generally have not put much thought into their religious and theological beliefs.

The adjective "spiritual", as applied to persons, is in my experience
usually a term of approbation -- such and such person is more aware
of/attentive to spiritual things than the average person.  It's
stronger than "pious" or "religious" and somewhat less so than "holy"
or "godly"; but it seems boastful to apply it to oneself... unless the
people you're talking about are non-Christians or those with religious
beliefs but not members of a specific organized religion: in which
case, I would suggest, all terminological bets are off.  Such people
may tend to be as Humpty-Dumptyish in making up their own terminology
to describe their own experiences than conlangers describing the
atypical grammatical structures of their conlangs.  (We've seen
elsethread how non-religious people with similar (non)beliefs can use
different terminology to describe themselves, or vice versa; it seems
to be much the same with religious people who aren't part of a
particular tradition.)  In this and related semantic fields, I
wouldn't expect words to consistently mean the same thing except
within a particular religious tradition.

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/