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Spiritual vs. religious discussion

Special to The PREVIEW

Often, if one approaches the question of faith with young adults of this generation, the response they will return is, “I’m spiritual but not religious.”

“This is an answer that has perplexed me for quite some time,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “It is one that legitimately bears discussion and serious consideration among religious institutions, yet seems to be avoided or shunned as nonsense. What does it mean to be spiritual but not religious? Does religion by its nature exclude spirituality? Can/do religions and spirituality coexist? Can they exist separately? Can Christianity exist without religion? Can it exist without spirituality?”

Beginning next Monday, June 9, and continuing on June 16 and 23, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the parish hall of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Neel will lead a series of classes and discussion regarding this question. Topics of discussion will include: What is religion and what is spirituality? What are the current trends in both religion and spirituality in the United States? How can an ancient religion address the contemporary need for a spiritual life? Where do you fit: spiritual, religious, both, neither?

“I hope we will have a lively discussion about this important subject. I invite people from all over our community, regardless of faith perspective, to come and enter into the question of spirituality versus religion. This forum is not meant to be a judgment on any particular belief, nor will we enter into name calling. Rather, it is a meant to open up a vital intelligent conversation on a topic that affects us all.”

This story was posted on June 5, 2014.