I’m taking some time at the start of this year to re-settle after a very busy December, and reconnect to a few things. One of them is what exactly DO I believe - and I’m working through the book Questions for the Religious Journey, by George Kimmich Beach. (Amazon) The blurb reads, “This empowering book offers tools for religious introspection and encourages readers to ‘seek answers that will mark the pathway as your own’.”
The first question Beach poses is this: “Are we incurably religious?”
Are we incurably religious?
How do you define “religious” or “religion”? Boy, there’s a question we could be here all night with, amirite?
Our text lists several definitions to start out with:
“Religion is the refusal to accept helplessness.”
“Religion is humility before the universe.”
“Religion is what men [and women] in community do, say, and think […] with respect to those things […] over which they have no control.”
“Religion is our sense of connectedness.”
Hmm. Reading that last definition feels like savoring the last bite of a delicious meal. But my sense of connectedness is, to me, Spirituality, not Religion. Religion has some structure added to it - most of my religions have been faiths of orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy, and so my lens on religion presumes some structured ways of being - and generally speaking, religion has community, which connectedness implies, but does not mandate.
Are we incurably religious? In my lens, no - but we may be incurably spiritual.
What’s your take? How do you define Religion vs. Spirituality? Are you incurable?