Committee Chair

Hood, Ralph W., Jr.

Committee Member

Ross, David F.; Weathington, Bart L.


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The concept of spirituality has emerged as a major focal point in both the theoretical and empirical study of religion. Whether the emergence of spirituality is a dimension of religion or a separate and distinct construct has been the subject of much debate among scholars. The philosophical arguments proposed on either side have underscored the need for further research into just what spirituality is and is not. An ongoing transition from a more religious to a more spiritual self identification is evident at least in the United States (Roof & Greer, 1993, 1999; Pargament, 1999). Using the data collected from The Bielefeld International Study of Spirituality in the United States, discriminate functional analysis of the three sub-scale factors of Hood’s Mysticism scale were used as predictors of the self identifications “more spiritual than religious,” more religious than spiritual,” and “neither spiritual or religious.” Differences between groups based on the attributes of the introvertive, extrovertive, and interpretive sub-scale factors of the Mysticism scale (M-scale) will be examined in order to distinguish what separates the groups. Previous research has indicated that mysticism scores are particularly relevant in distinguishing the more spiritual than religious group from all others (Hood, 2003; Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, 1999, p. 553). The potential to use Hood’s measure to discriminate between groups lends empirical support to both the validation of the M-Scale as a measure of both spiritual and religious experience as well as to the development of new and underutilized theories such as horizontal transcendence and symbolic immortality theory (Hood, Hill, & Spilka, 2009; Goodenough, 2001; Lifton, 1969).


Heinz Streib, University of Bielefeld


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Spirituality; Spirituality -- Psychology; Spiritual life; Mysticism


Religion; Spirituality; Mysticism; Transcendence; Symbolic Immortality; Horizontal Transcendence

Document Type

Masters theses


x, 169 leaves




Under copyright.