SPIRITUALITY AS A NATURAL PHENOMENON: BRINGING BIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES TOGETHER

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Abstract:

Abstract.

Working in Britain and in Poland, the authors independently arrived at an interpretation of spirituality as a natural phenomenon. From the point of view of the British author, spirituality is based on a biological predisposition that has been selected for in the process of evolution because it has survival value. In several important ways this approach is in harmony with the psychological perspective of the Polish author that sees spirituality as a socioculturally structured and determined attempt to cope with the existential human situation. Thus interpreted, spirituality is a human universal appearing in many secular as well as religious forms, although its most typical manifestations have been in religious experience. In this essay we discuss research data in support of this theoretical point of view and highlight some of the issues in bringing the two theoretical perspectives together.

Keywords: biological evolution; psychology of religion; relational consciousness; religious experience; social construction; social evolution; spiritual awareness; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9744.2005.00691.x

Affiliations: 1: Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Divinity and Religious Studies at King's College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland;, Email: j.d.hay@abdn.ac.uk. 2: Senior Lecturer in the Psychology and Sociology of Religion Unit at the Institute for the Study of Religion, Jagiellonian University, Rynek Glowny 34, 31-010 Krakow, Poland;, Email: Pawel.socha@uj.edu.pl.

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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