Spirituality vs Religion – Difference and Comparison

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality refers to being connected to something bigger than yourself; living everyday life with a reverent and sacred perspective. Humanity’s quest for and expression of significance and purpose,, as well as a feeling of belonging to oneself, people, nature, and the sacred, are all parts of spirituality.

All other things, including humanity, ethics, principles, and mental health, are related to spirituality. Spirituality is a particular way of living an ethical life. In order to make the style I have in mind more clearly defined, I will examine four aspects that I consider to be essential.

Spirituality is the practice of a morally directed way of life, emphasizing inner transformation within the context of what is considered ultimate.

The foundations of spirituality are mostly based on the practical application of the founder’s teachings, while spirituality focuses more on internalizing your soul‘s awareness. Spirituality therefore emphasizes inner knowledge much more than external worship. It involves an inward journey involving a shift in awareness rather than an external activity.

What is Religion?

A religion is an established system of religious ideas, attitudes, and behaviors that are used to serve and honor God or other supernatural beings. Historical anthropologists like E.B. Tylor (1871), who consistently employed the phrase to characterize the major global faiths, is credited with giving religion its significant contemporary meaning.

Thus, the term “religion” has evolved to mean characteristics that can be analyzed and researched, such as rites, dietary requirements, and belief systems (Jonathan Smith 1998).

A historical or archetypal figure’s life, teachings, and beliefs are frequently the foundation of a religion. Through oral tradition and written scriptures, we have been able to receive the details of their lives as holy or highly evolved beings. A community’s religious practices and rituals are based on these figures and they are worshiped and devoted to.

A religion’s organizational structure is one of its hallmarks. It is a structure that is frequently governed by rules and regulations that to some extent determine the behavior of its members. The organizational system encompasses the particular belief system of the religion, which includes ethical guidelines, regulations, and doctrines.

Difference Between Spirituality and Religion

Religion frequently has a strong tradition-based component, but spirituality encourages transformation and the development of consciousness.

Religions, based on rigid interpretations of key teachings, can create a worldview that excludes those who don’t share their views or interpretations, but spirituality does not make this distinction. Instead, it aims to be inclusive.

Spirituality doesn’t dismiss faith at its core; however, it leans more heavily on direct experiential knowledge of the divine or soul whereas Religion is fundamentally about faith, that is, unconditional acceptance of the religion’s teachings while spirituality is fundamentally about experiencing the divine directly.

There is sometimes an undercurrent of fear woven into religion’s teachings, while spirituality discards those vestiges in favor of more loving, compassionate attitudes toward life and death.

In traditional religion, moral rules, laws, and doctrines, along with specific codes and criteria, form the organized structure in which the religion’s specific beliefs are contained but Spirituality, however, breaks free from traditional restrictions and rigid structures. In spiritual aspiration, the aspirant recognizes that the path to self-discovery is “pathless.”

Comparison Between Spirituality and Religion

Parameters of comparisonSpiritualityReligion
MeaningIt signifies an experience of connection to something bigger than you; living life with reverence.Religion is a set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices; the worship of God or the supernatural.
OriginBased on the founder’s principles being put into practice.Based on a historical or archetypal person, such as Christ, and his or her life, teachings, and beliefs.
ExperienceSpirituality is subjective as it leans more toward self-referral or the internalization of your awareness of your soulExperience is objective because it depends on which object (the Houses of worship, Books of scripture, Eternal rituals, Observances)
OrganizationIt is formless. However, spirituality disengages from the limitations and rigid structure connected to traditional religion.It is organized. The ordered structure is produced by moral principles, rules, and beliefs, as well as by certain standards and guidelines.
RelationshipSpirituality favors an inclusive approach as it shares an idea that everyone is part of the universal hologramReligion creates an exclusive worldview that isolates those who may not share their views or interpretations


  1. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20563
  2. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20760