Spirituality and Human Quest for Values and Meaning

  January 24, 2021   Read time 1 min
Spirituality and Human Quest for Values and Meaning
Spirituality is indeed the soul of religious outlook. Religion struggles to depict a horizon in which human life becomes meaningful. Lack of meaning and domination of nihilism have been always the source anxiety and discontent in human history. The early efforts for reaching a religious understanding has its origin in this primordial sense.

The contemporary use of the word ‘‘spirituality’’ is sometimes vague and difficult to define precisely because it is increasingly detached from religious traditions and specifically from its roots in Christianity. The sharp and unhelpful distinction often made between ‘‘spirituality’’ and ‘‘religion’’ can be easily dropped aside. Yet, despite the fuzziness, it is possible to suggest that the word ‘‘spirituality’’ refers to the deepest values and meanings by which people seek to live. In other words, ‘‘spirituality’’ implies some kind of vision of the human spirit and of what will assist it to achieve full potential. Commentators sometimes suggest that the current interest in spirituality reflects a subjective turn in contemporary Western culture. It therefore tends to focus either on individual self-realization or on some kind of inwardness. There is considerable justification for this assertion in consumerist ‘‘lifestyle spirituality’’ that promotes fitness, healthy living, and holistic well-being. However, at the beginning of the new millennium there are also signs that the word ‘‘spirituality’’ has expanded beyond an individualistic quest for meaning. It increasingly appears in debates about public values or the transformation of social structures – for example, in reference to health care, education, and more recently the re-enchantment of cities and urban life. ‘‘Spirituality’’ has a more defined content when associated with historic religious tradition such as Christianity. In fact, Christianity is the original source of the word although it has now passed into other faith traditions, not least Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In Christian terms, spirituality refers to the way our fundamental values, lifestyles, and spiritual practices reflect particular understandings of God, human identity, and the material world as the context for human transformation. While all Christian spiritual traditions are rooted in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and particularly in the gospels, they are also attempts to reinterpret these scriptural values for specific historical and cultural circumstances.

Write your comment