A Reply to Gollnick -- Implicit Relgion isn't Spirituality in Disguise


  • Roger Grainger Greenwich School of Theology




James Gollnick, non-religious spirituality


In a recent article in Implicit Religion, James Gollnick compares implicit religion with ‘non-religious spirituality’, and draws the conclusion that they are both the same kind of thing:

Implicit religion appears to be indistinguishable from the kind of non-religious spirituality that is becoming increasingly widespread in our society. (Implicit Religion 6.3: 158)

He borrows the idea of spirituality which is non-religious from James Fuller, who contrasts it with ‘activities which may function like a religion but lack a distinctively spiritual quality’ (p. 152). The homologisation of spirituality with implicit religion appears to be widespread, so much so that a succession of articles recently appearing in this journal use the terms interchangeably. There is, of course, an obvious relationship between religion itself—both explicit and implicit—and spirituality, just as there is between explicit and implicit religion; but they are not the same relationship. ‘Spirituality’ and ‘implicit religion’ denote two distinct ways of being related to explicit religiosity, which may overlap but should not be taken as congruent.



How to Cite

Grainger, R. (2004). A Reply to Gollnick -- Implicit Relgion isn’t Spirituality in Disguise. Implicit Religion, 7(3), 276–278. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.v7i3.276