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Religions 2015, 6(1), 58-81;

Recovery Spirituality

Adjunct Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, 1235 Bardstown Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
Emeritus Senior Research Consultant, Chestnut Health Systems, 3329 Sunset Key Circle, Unit 203, Punta Gorda, FL 33955, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Chris Cook and Wendy Dossett
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 6 January 2015 / Accepted: 15 January 2015 / Published: 27 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Addiction)
Full-Text   |   PDF [273 KB, uploaded 16 February 2015]


There is growing interest in Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and other secular, spiritual, and religious frameworks of long-term addiction recovery. The present paper explores the varieties of spiritual experience within A.A., with particular reference to the growth of a wing of recovery spirituality promoted within A.A. It is suggested that the essence of secular spirituality is reflected in the experience of beyond (horizontal and vertical transcendence) and between (connection and mutuality) and in six facets of spirituality (Release, Gratitude, Humility, Tolerance, Forgiveness, and a Sense of Being-at-home) shared across religious, spiritual, and secular pathways of addiction recovery. The growing varieties of A.A. spirituality (spanning the “Christianizers” and “Seculizers”) reflect A.A.’s adaptation to the larger diversification of religious experience and the growing secularization of spirituality across the cultural contexts within which A.A. is nested. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alcoholics Anonymous; spirituality; recovery spirituality; secular spirituality; facets of spirituality; transcendence Alcoholics Anonymous; spirituality; recovery spirituality; secular spirituality; facets of spirituality; transcendence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kurtz, E.; White, W.L. Recovery Spirituality. Religions 2015, 6, 58-81.

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