Religion and Spirituality
Religion refers to various forms of belief and practice. These practices and beliefs are typically derived from a higher power or concept. It is a process that helps us to make sense of our experiences and the larger picture of life. Ultimately, religion can improve our well-being. There are many different forms of religion, but most share similar beliefs and practices.
A religion may start as an external phenomenon, with an agreed-upon set of beliefs. It may also begin as an internal process, which progresses outward through self-transcendence and a relationship with that which lies beyond our world. While it may start out as an external phenomenon, it often moves from an inner place to an outer one, becoming more connected to others and the divine.
Religious groups make up eight to eleven percent of the population. There are more women than men in this group, and they are mostly concentrated on the South and West. They are predominantly Boomers and Gen-Xers. While religious beliefs are important to our daily lives, we should not assume that religion is the source of all our concerns.
Religion can also provide spiritual meaning to our lives. A spiritual experience or perception of God can provide us with strength in life’s transitions and crises. For Berman and Snyder, spirituality is “a sense of connectedness and purpose.”