The Various Meanings OF "Spirituality" Essay
Personal Worldview Inventory:
Various Meanings of “Spirituality”
Personal Worldview Inventory: Various Meanings of “Spirituality”
Spirituality is a term that seems to exhibit links to religious beliefs and orientations. In an article written by Greenberg (2008), the author attempted to discern the ability to provide a concrete and accurate definition of spirituality. He cited the definition of Burkhardt (1989) who defined spirituality in nursing perspectives, to wit: “spirituality is that which gives meaning to one's life and draws one to transcend oneself. Spirituality is a broader concept than religion, although that is one expression of spirituality. Other expressions include prayer, meditation, interactions with others or nature, and relationship with God or a higher power” (p. 60). Concurrently, another definition was provided by Christina Puchalski, the Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, who averred that "spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred” . In addition, spirituality was considered a purely religious term through this definition: “the state of being spiritual in the higher use of the word. It is purely a religious term and signifies the state of a soul vitalized by the Divine Spirit and made alive unto God. It covers the entire range of man's faculties: intellect, feeling, will--all the attributes of personality” .
The Sociological and Philosophical Aspects of Spirituality
Despite the variety and widely encompassing definition of the term, spirituality has sociological aspects in terms of its integration in people’s lives. As emphasized, spirituality’s sociological underpinnings were evident from Walsh’s (2003) statement: “Over the centuries and across cultures, spiritual beliefs and practices have anchored and nourished families and their communities. Families have lit candles, prayed together, meditated, and quiet suffering (p. 337). On the other hand, the philosophical aspects of spirituality include delving into endeavors that seek “the ultimate foundations of spiritual intuitions” .
The Religious and Cultural Context of Modern Health Care and Medicine (i.e., pluralism, scientism, and postmodernism)
Spirituality is hereby broadly defined in religious and cultural context of modern health care and medicine through the context of pluralism, scientism and postmodernism. The concept of pluralism touches in the idea that society has increasingly become composed of multiple ethnic, racial, sexual, cultural orientations that need to be incorporated in health care. On the other hand, the concept of scientism asserts that “science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth” . In this concept, interventions on health care were proposed to be based purely on a scientific worldview where religious claims were allegedly dismissed. Finally, the concept of postmodernism “relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one's own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal” . Therefore, health care practices under postmodernism principles focus on relative truths based on personal health experiences of individuals.
Responses to Questions on the Seven Basic Worldview
1. What is prime reality? Prime reality is viewed as premised from one’s basic theological understanding of the paramount truth, i.e., God is the Divine Power who defines the ultimate purpose of people in life.
2. What is the nature of the world around us? The nature of the world around us has increasingly evolved from a simple life using natural resources to a complicated and challenging living. One believes that the impact of natural disasters become more destructive due to man’s irresponsible use of natural resources which are not effectively replenished to support and sustain life.
3. What is a human being? A human being is one of God’s creations who was tasked with the responsibility to govern other living things in the world.
4. What happens to a person at death? One’s religious belief proposes that a person at death simply transcends to an after-life. There is eternal life awaiting the soul after it leaves the transitory body.
5. Why is it possible to know anything at all? The ability of individuals to gain knowledge depends on diverse factors: commitment to pursue academic programs, influence of support systems (family, relatives, peers, teachers, community members), and the individual’s personal and professional goals in life.
6. How do we know what is right or wrong? The concept of right and wrong is believed to be ingrained from religious and cultural beliefs. Religious teachings handed down from parents and continually taught in schools enable individuals to gain increasing knowledge on the appropriate conduct and behavior, as well as actions that conform to ethical, moral, and legal laws.
7. What is the meaning of human history? The meaning of human history could still be traced from the Biblical teaching of God’s creation. From the teachings in the Bible, the historical evolution of man has been effective documented and taught. As such, the meaning of human history could be perceived as diverse depending on the religious and cultural backgrounds of people.
In sum, the current discourse presented various meanings of spirituality, the religious and cultural of modern health care, as well as personal responses to the seven basic worldview.
Philosophy of Spirituality. (2012). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from Center for Systems Philosophy: http://www.philosophy-of-spirituality.org/
Spirituality. (2015). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from biblestudytools.com: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/spirituality/
Burkhardt, M. (1989). Spirituality: An Analysis of The Concept. Holistic Nursing Practice, 60-77.
Greenberg, N. (2008, October 8). Can Spirituality be Defined? Retrieved January 9, 2015, from University of Tennessee: http://notes.utk.edu/bio/unistudy.nsf/935c0d855156f9e08525738a006f2417/bdc83cd10e58d14a852573b00072525d?OpenDocument
Postmodernism. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from pbs.org: http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/postm-body.html
Scientism. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9, 2015, from pbs.org: http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/sciism-body.html
Pulchaski, C. F.-G. (2009). Improving the quality of spiritual care as a dimension of palliative care: The report of the consensus conference. Journal of Palliative Medicine, Vol. 12, 886-904.
Walsh, F. (2003). Normal Family Process. New York: Guilford.
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