In The Times of India, there is an excellent SBNR article written by Father Dominic Emmanuel, who for decades has been promoting peace, harmony, and inter-religious dialogue. In this new article, Emmanuel explains why we should make a distinction between spirituality and religion:
Simply because, as it is said, that the largest numbers of wars in the world have been fought in the name of religion. One continues to witness numerous conflicts resulting in violence in the name of religion. This often confuses people not only about the role of religion but even its need in life.
The life and teachings of Jesus show that he, too, made this distinction. His spirituality often went against the religious practices of the Pharisees. He often attacked them for their adherence to rituals which showed little regard for the welfare of people. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven” and “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
From Buddha’s teachings, it does seem that he, too, distinguished between religion and spirituality. Buddhist insight and meditation practice is not believed to have been revealed divinely, but by the understanding of the true nature of suffering, discovered by personally treading a spiritual path.
To read the rest of the article go to: Religion Can’t Bind the Spiritual Life