Spirituality/Medicine Interface Project

Definition of Terms: Spirituality versus Religiousness

Authors: Conrad C. Daly, MTh


Nowhere is the need to define and clarify terms more fundamental than when discussing spirituality and religion. Though often set in the stone of tradition, this topic is so nebulous, subjective, emotional, and, at times, even prejudicial, that clear definitions are needed to avoid further ambiguity and confusion. Such a concern is particularly apt when discussing possible associations between spirituality, religion and health. The fact that 79 and 64% of those polled in the USA describe themselves as “spiritual” and “religious,” respectively,1 testifies to the importance of this issue.

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