Definitions

climate change

“The change in world climate patterns over time. Such change has always occurred, both on a large scale since the formation of the earth and on a smaller scale within the span of human history. . . . However, three factors led to climate change becoming an important issue in the late 20th and early 21st centuries: a body of scientific evidence suggesting that the average world temperature was increasing rapidly; a concern that human activity was in part causing this change; and a fear that, if unchecked, it would lead to massive physical, economic, social, and political disruption within a few human lifetimes.”

From:
“climate change.” Oxford Reference. 2 Apr. 2018. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095617958.


spirituality

“[Spirituality is] difficult to define as the word is used in many different contexts. Its roots are in the Christian tradition where it has a long history in theology and religious practice. The spiritual as an inward quest has often been contrasted with the material, physical and external. Some understand the ‘spiritual’ as more diffuse and less institutionalized than the ‘religious’. Others, on the contrary, take spirituality as the very centre and heart of religion, encountered particularly through religious and mystical experience. The subject matter of spirituality is a perennial human concern, but the critical, comparative reflection on spirituality in a global context is a recent phenomenon. Many religions have no precise word for ‘spirituality’; yet today the notion of spirituality has become universalized and is now used inside and outside religions, and also in an inter-faith and secular context. The modern interest in spirituality goes together with an emphasis on the individual subject, self-development and a more differentiated understanding of human psychology. Spirituality has now become a universal code word to indicate the search for direction and meaning. In modern secular society spirituality is being ‘rediscovered’ as a lost or at least hidden dimension in a largely materialistic world.

“Spirituality has been described as an attempt to grow in sensitivity – to self, to others, to non-human creation and to God; or as an exploration into what is involved in becoming human, a quest for full humanity. The way in which spirituality finds concrete expression varies greatly from culture to culture, and from one religion to another.”

From:
“Spirituality.” A New Dictionary of Religions. Hinnells, John R. Blackwell Publishing, 1995.