Home Concepts Ethics WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY? A DIVE INTO A MULTIDIMENSIONAL CONCEPT AS RELATED TO COACHING

WHAT IS SPIRITUALITY? A DIVE INTO A MULTIDIMENSIONAL CONCEPT AS RELATED TO COACHING

25 min read
0
0
135

2. ORIGIN OF THE TERM

For many scholars, the use of the term ‘spirituality’ originates in the Latin translation of the Christian bible and other early Latin Christian texts. The Latin word ‘spiritualitas’ (spirituality) is derived from the noun ‘spiritus’, meaning breath. It was used to translate Hebrew ‘???’ (ruach – wind) and the Greek ‘??????’(pneuma – wind). Boas Huss writes that “in the Old Testament, the term ‘???’ (wind) denotes a divine element (Genesis 1:2) and the human life principle, received from (and returned to) God (12:7). The word ‘??????’ has a similar semantic field. Therefore, it is frequently juxtaposed to ‘????’ (flesh), as in ‘the spirit (??????) is willing, but the flesh (????) is weak’” (Matthew 26:41)(Huss 2014, p. 48). This distinction between ‘breath’ and ‘flesh’ is manifest in the separation between ‘spiritual’ and ‘physical/material.’

Today, most people would not link spirituality to religion. Many even see a contradiction between spirituality and religion or religious affiliation. In 1997, Zinnauer and his academic team coined an acronym for this phenomenon, the ‘SBNR’ for ‘Spiritual, But Not Religious.’ The SBNR demographic closely resembles the baby boomer “seekers,” studied by Wade Clark Roof (Roof 1993). According to Zinnbauer, both groups were “less likely to evaluate religiousness positively, less likely to engage in traditional forms of worship such as church at tendance and prayer, less likely to engage in group experiences related to spiritual growth, and more likely to be agnostic, more likely to characterize religiousness and spirituality as different and nonoverlapping concepts, more likely to hold nontraditional ‘new age’ beliefs, and more likely to have had mystical experiences” (Zinnbauer et al. 1997, 561 in Fuller 2001, p. 6).

But the understanding of spirituality apart from religion has a surprisingly short history. Zinnauer says that “historically, spirituality was not distinguished from religiousness until the rise of secularism in this century, and a popular disillusionment with religious institutions as a hindrance to personal experiences of the sacred. Since the seventies, interest in spirituality has greatly increased, and American religious life has shifted to include more elements defined as ‘Spiritual.’ At the same time, there has been a drop in public confidence in religion and religious leadership. Consequently, spirituality has begun to acquire distinct meanings and connotations” (Zinnbauer et al. 1997, p. 550).

This declining influence of the major traditional religions, also called “secularization,” meant that places where questions of spiritual or religious nature could be asked were shifting. The United States saw the multiplication of non-traditional churches, the import of practices and beliefs from all over the worlds, the multiplication of esoteric and philosophical societies, etc. This is also where coaching was developing before taking off in the first decade of the 21st century. Vikki Brock credits the birth of modern coaching to the societal transformation brought by the postmodern revolution and its consequence on people’s environment. “In short, as the world’s business and social environments changed, the needs of human beings changed, and coaching sprang up to meet them”(Brock 2012, p. 2). As a place where speech is released, where trust and rapport are built, coaching has also become a place where spiritual questions are being addressed.

Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Download Article 1K Club
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Veronique Pioch Eberhart
Load More In Ethics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Spirituality and Coaching

The third essay is taken from the archives of The Library of Professional Coaching. It is …