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The Threefold Nature of Spirituality (tns) in a Psychological Cognitive Framework

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This article describes a new theoretical, psychological model characterizing the concept, structure and functioning of spirituality in relation to the phenomenon of religiousness. The structural and processual approaches are indispensable when examining the spiritual sphere. The theory suggests that the psychological nature of spirituality can be considered from a threefold perspective: (1) as a cognitive scheme (the most constricted understanding), (2) as a dimension of personality (the broader understanding), (3) as an attitude towards life (the most extensive perspective). The Threefold Nature of Spirituality (tns) model binds these perspectives together and describes the phenomena and processes inherent in spiritual functioning: looking for the sacred or a-sacred, for the meaning of life, and for personal fulfilment. Theoretical and empirical examples are presented here in support of the tns, although further exploration is necessary.

Affiliations: 1: Instytut Psychologii, Uniwersytet Gdański (University of Gdańsk)


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