Lotte Pummerer

„Self-Transcendence” – or: How to Deal with Questions of Spirituality and Meaning in Religious Nones?

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More and more people around the world are not identifying themselves with a religion. This leaves scientists and caregivers alike with the challenge of responding to questions of spirituality and meaning among this population while, among other things, lacking suitable terminology and concepts. The intention of this essay is to contribute to an interdisciplinary discussion through presenting and organizing psychological research on
nonreligion and introducing the concept of “self-transcendence” as one way to talk about issues of meaning, significance and purpose. Reflecting on self-transcendent experiences thus might offer a common ground for dialogue between all different forms of religion, spirituality and nonreligion while avoiding typical dichotomies like religious vs. atheistic;
faith vs. unbelief; or equal vs. different.