Next Article in Journal
A Nationally Representative Survey of Faith and Work: Demographic Subgroup Differences around Calling and Conflict
Next Article in Special Issue
The Dynamic Universal Profiles of Spiritual Awareness: A Latent Profile Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Introduction to Special Issue on “Exploring New Assemblages of Islamic Expert Education in Western Europe”
Open AccessArticle

Content Analysis of Spiritual Life in Contemporary USA, India, and China

Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Clinical Psychology Department, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(6), 286;
Received: 16 May 2020 / Revised: 4 June 2020 / Accepted: 8 June 2020 / Published: 11 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Development over the Lifespan)
This study investigates the lived-experience of spiritual life in contemporary USA, India, and China. A qualitative coding frame was constructed based on participant responses to open-ended questions regarding spirituality. Qualitative analysis was facilitated by the use of Dedoose, a mixed methods software. The exploratory approach of this study takes on a cross-culturally comparative lens, and has two primary questions: (1) What are the universal aspects of lived spirituality across cultures, and (2) How does culture shape spiritual experience (e.g., typology and prevalence)? A total of 6112 participants (41% women, mean age of 29 years, range 18–75 years) were recruited, and analysis was conducted on a subset of 900 participants. The primary thematic categories derived by content analysis included religion (religious traditions, religious conversion, religious professionals, religious figures “theophany,” and religious forces “heirophany”), contemplative practice (meditation, mindful movement, prayer, and rituals), ancestors (ancestral worship, dreams about ancestors, and general mention of ancestors), natural world (animals, and nature), and metaphysical phenomena. Metaphysical categories were further parsed apart to include extrasensory perception (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, realistic dreams, and intuitive impressions), psychokinesis, survival hypothesis (near death experiences, out of body experiences, and apparitional experiences), and faith and energy healing (recovery/remission of illness, and spiritual practitioners). Explanatory factors for similarities and differences across groups, and the origins of spirituality, are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: spirituality; religious experience; culture; metaphysical phenomena; qualitative spirituality; religious experience; culture; metaphysical phenomena; qualitative
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Lau, E.; McClintock, C.; Graziosi, M.; Nakkana, A.; Garcia, A.; Miller, L. Content Analysis of Spiritual Life in Contemporary USA, India, and China. Religions 2020, 11, 286.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop