The dynamics of spirituality: A cross-cultural lexical analysis.

The notion of spirituality is increasingly prominent in academic and cultural discourse alike. However, it remains a nebulous concept, capable of diverse interpretations, particularly cross-culturally. In the interest of exploring this diversity, yet also with the aim of identifying common themes, an inquiry was conducted into conceptualizations of spirituality across cultures. Specifically, the inquiry focused on so-called untranslatable words, that is, those that lack an exact equivalent in another language (in this case, English). Through a quasi-systematic search, together with conceptual snowballing, over 200 relevant terms were located. A grounded-theory analysis identified three key dimensions: the sacred, contemplative practice, and self-transcendence. Based on these, a conceptualization of spirituality was formulated that may be valid cross-culturally, namely, engagement with the sacred, usually through contemplative practice, with the ultimate aim of self-transcendence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)