07 October 2021, The Tablet

Out of the depths


The Awakened Brain: The Psychology of Spirituality and Our Search for Meaning
(ALLEN LANE, 288 PP, £20)
Tablet bookshop price £18 • tel 020 7799 4064

Next time you are feeling bored in church, or are wondering whether to drag your children to Mass, keep going. Fresh research by Lisa Miller, a professor in the clinical psychology programme at Columbia University, reveals a clear link between spirituality and our mental wellbeing.

Dr Miller defines spirituality as a natural capacity to perceive a greater reality and consciously connect to the life force that moves in, through and around us. Being spiritual is not quite the same as being religious, and we can enjoy spirituality’s many psychological and even physical benefits without being part of what Dr Miller calls a “faith tradition”. (She herself is Jewish.) You can be spiritual without being religious, and religious with or without being spiritual.

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