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What is the difference is between spirituality and religion? Is there a need for a community, such as a religion?  


Spirituality is personal – it starts and ends with each person. Individuals become the judges of their own lives. Spirituality involves the personal and subjective experience of one’s interior world.  


Religion is communal – it starts when two or more people share the meaning of their experiences. Thoughts, concepts, convictions, and practices are shared. Over time, wisdom and practices are accumulated that can nourish the soul. 


To be of value, both spirituality and religion are needed.  


Spirituality needs community. People have a need to make their spirituality function in more than their own separate and independent selves. Without a community (religion), people would embrace their own meanings and remain isolated from others. Furthermore, nothing would be passed on from generation to generation.  


A religious community, on the other hand, is where healthy personal spirituality can be allowed to develop. Personal spiritualities interact with one another and wisdom is shared. 

Finally, a community needs to protect believers from false spirituality, even as spirituality needs to protect a community from a wrong kind of religion. Without being checked by good religion, spirituality can become mere private sentiment. On the other hand, without true spirituality, religion may provide no real nurturing of the soul. A healthy spiritual balance needs both religion and spirituality.



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