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Page: Spirituality and Human Existence

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A definition of spirituality emerges from an understanding of the nature of the whole person. The table below, illustrating the nature of the human person, shows the integrated and complex nature of the human being.


Spirituality deals with the spiritual dimension of existence and life.


The following table presents a model that illustrates the nature of the human person.




A Model of Human Existence





Involves the physical body including such aspects as nutrition, exercise, and rest.

(Persons have bodies entailing physical nature, gender, sexuality, and behaviour in the natural world.)





Involves the need for intellectual stimulation such as through challenging one’s thinking and behaviour.

(Persons have minds involving thinking and reasoning – involving the structure and content of cognitive processes.)





Involves the capacity for belief in a higher power which gives a sense of purpose, belonging, and worth.

(Persons have wills and can make decisions – entailing intentions and judgments. They also have intuition, and aspects of character, personality, imagination, and values.)





Involves one’s perspective on life, view of others, and estimation of oneself.

(Persons have feelings and the affective dimension of their lives – they are sensitive to feelings, motivations, and attitudes.)





Involves a network of relationships including one’s family, friends, and the community.

(Persons are in community involving relationships with other persons, groups, institutions, and social structures.)



Source: I am indebted to the following article for the insights presented in this table: Mara Schulz, “A Body in Balance” in Signs of the Times 118 (December, 2003): 17-20, in addition to my own personal reflections on this topic. Also, I am excerpting from Robert W. Pazmi┼ło, Foundational Issues in Christian Education: An Introduction in Evangelical Perspective (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997), 193. 


Photo credit: Intellimon Ltd. 






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