Spiritual but not religious (SBNR) is a new buzz phrase often thrown around within new age circles. What exactly does that mean? How are spirituality and religion different and how are they the same?
A religion can be defined as an institution with a set of organized beliefs and practices shared by a community or group. The social network of a religion can provide structure and peer support in following prescribed codes of conduct for daily living. For the most part a religion is a public entity and the general premise of the religion’s doctrine including creed, code and ethics is documented, tangible and openly shared.
Spirituality on the other hand is a personal and uniquely individualized discovery and set of beliefs and practices that evolves over time. Through study, experience and self-reflection beliefs and practices evolve that support an individual in their unique connection to something outside of themselves. Spirituality is deeply personal and while some practices like yoga may be performed alongside others the actual belief structures and connection is unique to the individual and often completely known only to themselves.
The following 7 differences between religion and spirituality will help you to distinguish between the two.