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Contemporary sociological approaches to spirituality

Singleton, Andrew 2016, Contemporary sociological approaches to spirituality. In de Souza, Marian, Bone, Jane and Watson, Jacqueline (ed), Spirituality across disciplines: research and practice, Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp.39-50, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-31380-1.

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Title Contemporary sociological approaches to spirituality
Author(s) Singleton, AndrewORCID iD for Singleton, Andrew orcid.org/0000-0002-5545-2149
Title of book Spirituality across disciplines: research and practice
Editor(s) de Souza, Marian
Bone, Jane
Watson, Jacqueline
Publication date 2016
Chapter number 4
Total chapters 25
Start page 39
End page 50
Total pages 12
Publisher Springer
Place of Publication Berlin, Germany
Keyword(s) Spirituality
Religion
Sociology
Summary This chapter examines contemporary sociological definitions and approaches to the study of spirituality. It begins by examining how and when spirituality found its place in sociology, and then considers how sociologists have defined and studied spirituality in recent decades. A review of various definitions reveals that most sociologists understand that spirituality to involve experiences of ‘transcendence’ or ‘sacredness’. This can be religious or otherwise. Next, the chapter discusses sociological explanations for popularisation of the notion that people are increasingly ‘spiritual, but not religious’. It is argued that post-1960s social changes have led to the expansion of spiritual options outside the bounds of organised religion and that a reasonable proportion of people in the west might aptly be termed ‘spiritual seekers’. The chapter concludes with a discussion of further prospects for the sociological study of spirituality, and examines the view that there can be a ‘secular spirituality’. It is argued that there has been a paucity of study of the actions, activities and motivations of non-religious people and how this aligns with current understandings of spirituality.
ISBN 9783319313788
9783319313801
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-31380-1
Field of Research 220405 Religion and Society
160805 Social Change
Socio Economic Objective 950404 Religion and Society
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085075

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