Individual Spirituality

  • Christopher G. Beehner
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment book series (PSTWSP)


While scholars have been reluctant to study spirituality, research on spirituality and religiosity increased during the latter decades of the previous century. Popular interest in spirituality has also increased as a result of the rise of secularism, and popular disillusionment with, and declining confidence in, religious institutions. In this chapter, individual spirituality will be examined from a secular perspective. However, the influence of major religions on spirituality is so profound that a summary of the spiritual aspects of each major religion is included. Contemporary spirituality movements, such as alternative spiritualities, occulture, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS), and Spirituality 2.0, will be explored. The spirituality discourse concludes with an examination of spiritual capital, spiritual intelligence, and the benefits of spirituality at the individual level.


  1. (n.d.) Vedic-Hindu spirituality quotations and quotes. Retrieved February 2, 2018, from
  2. Akhtar, S., bin Arshad, M. A., Mahmood, A., & Ahmed, A. (2015). Spiritual quotient and ethical values towards organizational stability. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 58, 107. Retrieved February 2, 2018, from
  3. Akman, K. (2008). Sufism, spirituality and sustainability: Rethinking Islamic mysticism through contemporary sociology. Comparative Islamic Studies, 4(1/2), 1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astrow, A. B., & Sulmasy, D. P. (2004). Spirituality and the patient-physician relationship. JAMA, 291(23), 2884. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker, C., Stokes, P., Lichy, J., Atherton, J., & Moss, D. (2011). Values, beliefs and attitudes in the era of late-capitalism: A consideration of the re-emergence and re-positioning of faith and spirituality as spiritual capital in the workplace. Retrieved February 4, 2018, from
  6. Bartolini, N., Chris, R., MacKian, S., & Pile, S. (2017). The place of spirit: Modernity and the geographies of spirituality. Progress in Human Geography, 41(3), 338–354. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berman, M. (1981). The reenchantment of the world. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Besecke, K. (2013). You can’t put God in a box. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  10. Chavez, F. I. (2010). Sustainability & spirituality: Common threads. Originally published in the GreenMBA Journal, 6(1). San Rafael, CA: Dominican University of California. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from
  11. Cigrang, J. A., Hryshko-Mullen, A., & Peterson, A. L. (2003). Spontaneous reports of religious coping by patients with chronic physical illness. Journal Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 10(3), 133–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cloke, P., & Beaumont, J. (2013). Geographies of postsecular rapprochement in the city. Progress in Human Geography, 37(1), 27–51. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dahl, A. L. (1996). Spiritual dimensions of sustainable development. Bahai Library Online.Google Scholar
  14. Dent, E. B., Higgins, M. E., & Wharff, D. M. (2005). Spirituality and leadership: An empirical review of definitions, distinctions, and embedded assumptions. The Leadership Quarterly, 16(5), 625–653. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dhiman, S. (2017). Holistic leadership: A new paradigm for today’s leaders. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dierendonck, D., & Mohan, K. (2006). Some thoughts on spirituality and eudaimonic well-being. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 9(3), 227–238. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dittmar, J., & Sturm, T. (2010). Mapping the end of times: American evangelical geopolitic and apocalyptic visions. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  18. Duffy, R. D. (2006). Spirituality, religion, and career development: Current status and future directions. The Career Development Quarterly, 55(1), 52–63. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emerich, M. M. (2011). The gospel of sustainability: Media, market and LOHAS. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  20. Emmons, R. A. (2000a). Is spirituality an intelligence? Motivation, cognition, and the psychology of ultimate concern. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 3–26. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Emmons, R. A. (2000b). Spirituality and intelligence: Problems and prospects. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 57–64. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. Geigle, D. (2012). Workplace spirituality empirical research: A literature review. Business and Management Review, 2(10), 14–27. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from
  24. Heelas, P., & Woodhead, L. (with Seel, B., Szerszynski, B., & Tusting, K). (2005). The spiritual revolution: Why religion is giving way to spirituality. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Heintzman, P. (2009). Nature-based recreation and spirituality: A complex relationship. Leisure Sciences, 32(1), 72–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Helminski, K. (2007). Spiritual perception and the root of the root of religion. UNESCO International Rumi Symposium, Istanbul.Google Scholar
  27. Hicks, D. A. (2002). Spiritual and religious diversity in the workplace: Implications for leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(4), 379–396. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hill, A. (2011). Paranormal media: Audiences, spirits and magic in popular culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, P. C., Pargament, K. I., Hood, R. W., McCullough, M. E., Jr., Swyers, J. P., Larson, D. B., & Zinnbauer, B. J. (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: Points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 30(1), 51–77. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti. (n.d.). Why is man interested in spirituality? Retrieved February 2, 2018, from
  31. Holloway, J. (2003). Make believe: Spiritual practice, embodiment and sacred space. Environment and Planning A: Economy & Space, 35(11), 1961–1974. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Holloway, J. (2012). The space that faith makes: Towards a (hopeful) ethos of engagement. In P. Hopkins, L. Kong, & E. Olson (Eds.), Religion and place: Landscape, place and piety (pp. 203–218). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  33. Holthaus, G. (2012). Learning Native wisdom: What traditional cultures teach us about subsistence, sustainability, and spirituality. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.Google Scholar
  34. Hood, R. W., Spilka, B., Hunsberger, B., & Gorsuch, R. (1996). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  35. King, D. B. (2008). Rethinking claims of spiritual intelligence: A definition, model, & measure. Unpublished master’s thesis, Trent University, Peterborough, ON.Google Scholar
  36. King, D. B., & DeCicco, T. L. (2009). A viable model and self-report measure of spiritual intelligence. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 28(1), 68–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Konkoly, T. B., Pilling, Szekely, A., & Kopp, M. S. (2013). Relationship between religiosity and health: Evidence from a post-communist country. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(4), 477–486. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Levin, J. S., Chatters, L. M., Ellison, C. G., & Taylor, R. J. (1996). Religious involvement, health outcomes, and public health practice. Current Issues in Public Health, 2, 220–225. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. MacKian, S. (2012). Everyday spiritualities: Social and spatial worlds of enchantment. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marques, J., Dhiman, S., & King, R. (2005). Spirituality in the workplace: Developing an integral model and a comprehensive definition. The Journal of American Academy of Business, 7(1), 81–91. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from
  41. Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1967 [1844]). The Communist manifesto. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  42. Mayer, J. D. (2000). Spiritual intelligence or spiritual consciousness? The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 47–56. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meraviglia, M. G. (2004). The effects of spirituality on well-being of people with lung cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 31(1), 89–94. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Miller, W. R., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. American Psychologist, 58(1), 24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mohan, K. (2001). Spirituality and well-being: Overview. In C. Mattijs (Ed.), Integral psychology (pp. 203–226). Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.Google Scholar
  46. Mueller, P. S., Plevak, D. J., & Rummans, T. A. (2001). Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 76(12), 1225–1235. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Muesse, M. W. (2002). What does it mean to lead a spiritual life? A Buddhist perspective. Memphis, TN: Center for Spiritual Growth Tennessee. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from
  48. Myers, D. G. (2000). The American paradox: Spiritual hunger in an age of plenty. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Noble, K. D. (2000). Spiritual intelligence: A new frame of mind. Spirituality and Giftedness, 9, 1–29. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from
  50. Paloutzian, P. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (2nd ed., pp. 357–379). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  51. Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A., & Shafranske, E. (Eds.). (2013). APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality, Vol. II. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  52. Peselow E., Pi, S., Lopez, E., Besada, A., & Ishak, W. W. (2014). The impact of spirituality before and after treatment of major depressive disorder. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 11(3–4), 17–23. Retrieved November 14, 2017, from
  53. Reuter, T. A. (2015). The green revolution in the world’s religions: Indonesian examples in international comparison. Religions, 6(4), 1217–1231. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Roof, W. C. (1993). A generation of seekers: The spiritual journeys of the baby boom generation. San Francisco: Harper.Google Scholar
  55. Rowatt, W. C., & Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2002). Two dimensions of attachment to God and their relation to affect, religiosity, and personality constructs. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 637–651. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday/Currency.Google Scholar
  57. Sheldrake, P. (1992). Spirituality and history: Questions of interpretation and method. New York: Crossroads.Google Scholar
  58. Sherman, A. C., Plante, T. G., Simonton, S., Latif, U., & Anaissie, E. J. (2009). Prospective study of religious coping among patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 32(1), 118–128. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sim, T. K., & Loh, B. S. M. (2003). Attachment to god: Measurement and dynamics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 373–389. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Spilka, B. (1993, August). Spirituality: Problems and directions in operationalizing a fuzzy concept. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association annual conference, Toronto.Google Scholar
  61. Spilka, B. & McIntosh, D. N. (1996, August). Religion and spirituality: The known and the unknown. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association annual conference, Toronto.Google Scholar
  62. Stead, J. G., & Stead, W. E. (2014). Building spiritual capabilities to sustain sustainability-based competitive advantages. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 11(2), 143–158. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tabei, S. Z., Zarei, N., & Joulaei, H. (2016). The impact of spirituality on health. Shiraz E-Medical Journal, 17(6).
  64. Tarakeshwar, N., Vanderwerker, L. C., Paulk, E., Pearce, M. J., Kasl, S. V., & Prigerson, H. G. (2006). Religious coping is associated with the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 9(3), 646–657. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Targowski, A. (2012). Spirituality 2.0—A condition for a wise civilization. Dialogue and Universalism, 22(2), 133–143. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from
  66. Thrift, N. (1997). The rise of soft capitalism. Cultural Values, 1(1), 29–57. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Turner, R. P., Lukoff, D., Barnhouse, R. T. & Lu, F. G. (1995). Religious or spiritual problem: A culturally sensitive diagnostic category in the DSM-IV. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 183: 435–444. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from
  68. Twenge, J. M., Sherman, R. A., Exline, J. J., & Grubbs, J. B. (2016). Declines in American adults’ religious participation and beliefs, 1972–2014. Sage Open, 6(1), 2158244016638133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vaughan, F. (2002). What is spiritual intelligence? Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 42(2), 16–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Verter, B. (2003). Spiritual capital: Theorizing religion with Bourdieu against Bourdieu. Sociological Theory, 21(2), 150–174. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Walker, S. (2013). Design and spirituality: Material culture for a wisdom economy. Design Issues, 29(3), 89–107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. WHOQOL SRPB Group. (2006). A cross-cultural study of spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs as components of quality of life. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 1486–1497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wilford, J. (2010). Sacred archipelagos: Geographies of secularization. Progress in Human Geography, 43(3), 328–348. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zinnbauer, B. J., Pargament, K. I., Cole, B., Rye, M. S., Butter, E. M., Belavich, T. G., … Kadar, J. L. (1997). Religion and spirituality: Unfuzzying the fuzzy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 549–564.
  75. Zohar, D., & Marshall, I. (2000). Spiritual intelligence: The ultimate intelligence. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher G. Beehner
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Business, Legal and EntrepreneurshipSeminole State College of FloridaHeathrowUSA

Personalised recommendations