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Spirituality and Religious Tolerance

Hughes, Philip J. (2013) Spirituality and Religious Tolerance. Implicit Religion, 16 (1). pp. 65-91. ISSN 1463-9955

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Abstract

Claims of exclusive possession of the truth within Western Christianity have often been associated with intolerance of other religions. Over the past 40 years, an increased number of people around the world have described themselves as “spiritual” rather than as “religious”. As some forms of spirituality do not involve the acceptance of particular doctrines as truths, it might be expected that the spiritual
might be more tolerant of various religious perspectives than those committed to a particular religion. An analysis of data from 40 countries around the globe, gathered
in the International Social Survey Program (2008), shows that whether those who described themselves as spiritual were more tolerant than those who described themselves as religious, or those who said they were neither spiritual
nor religious were more tolerant, varied from one country to another. The data shows that “spirituality” is sometimes associated with belief in God, sometimes not. In a number of countries where spirituality was not widely associated with
belief in God, spirituality was associated with greater religious tolerance. However,in several countries where spirituality was associated with belief in God,
those who described themselves as neither religious nor spiritual were the most tolerant. The data demonstrates the varied nature of “spirituality” and “religion” and suggests that the level of tolerance is partly dependent on the contexts in which the expressions of religion and spirituality have been developed.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Proofs
Keywords: spiritual, religious, tolerance, intolerance, (belief in) God
Fields of Research: 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
Type of Activity: Strategic Basic Research
Subjects: A - World Religions
College/Association with University of Divinity: Other University of Divinity
Depositing User: Rev Dr Philip Hughes
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2014 02:02
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2014 02:02
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1341

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