Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Theology, Relilgion, Spirituality

A Seeds reader wrote to ask me the difference between theology and religion. I knew he was looking for a pithy answer. My reply appears below:

Theology is study about God.
Religion is practice leading to God.
Spirituality is being God.

Ever thought about the differences amongst these three? In seminary, we “did theology.” It was a way to learn about God. Anything that’s an “-ology” is a study. Not the same as a genuine relationship with God.

Religion comes from Latin roots meaning “to link again.” Can you see the English word ligament in there? Religion is a tradition of practices. Some prefer their hereditary traditions; others prefer to release their inheritance. With religion, you get a relationship with a tradition, not always with God.

Spirituality is knowing that you are God, and being God in everyday situations. It is the germ, the core, the essence of religion and theology. Spirituality lets you “become what you are,” to quote Goethe.

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