Spiritual transformation

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Spiritual transformation is a major theme[citation needed] in Western art - a version of Remedios Varo's 1955 painting Ruptura[1]

Spiritual transformation involves a fundamental change in a person's sacred or spiritual life.

Psychologists examine spiritual transformation within the context of an individual's meaning system,[2][need quotation to verify] especially in relation to concepts of the sacred or of ultimate concern.[3] Two of the fuller treatments of the concept in psychology come from Kenneth Pargament and from Raymond Paloutzian.

Pargament holds that "at its heart, spiritual transformation refers to a fundamental change in the place of the sacred or the character of the sacred in the life of the individual. Spiritual transformation can be understood in terms of new configurations of strivings" (p. 18).[4]

Paloutzian suggests that "spiritual transformation constitutes a change in the meaning system that a person holds as a basis for self-definition, the interpretation of life, and overarching purposes and ultimate concerns" (p. 334).[5]

One school of thought emphasises the importance of "rigorous self-discipline" in spiritual transformation.[6]


The Metanexus Institute (founded 1997) in New York has sponsored scientific research on spiritual transformation.[7]


Occurrences of the phrase "spiritual transformation" in Google Books suggest a surge in the popularity of the concept from the late-20th century.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Opportunity awaits you".
  2. ^ Israela Silberman (2005). Religion as a meaning system: Implications for the new millennium. Journal of Social Issues, v61 n4, pp641-663. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00425.x
  3. ^ Robert A. Emmons (1999). The psychology of ultimate concerns: Motivation and spirituality in personality. New York: Guilford.
  4. ^ Kenneth I. Pargament. (2006). The meaning of spiritual transformation. In Joan D. Koss-Chioino & Philip Hefner (Eds.), Spiritual transformation and healing: Anthropological, theological, neuroscientific, and clinical perspectives (pp. 10-39), Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. ISBN 0-7591-0867-6
  5. ^ Raymond F. Paloutzian. (2005). Religious conversion and spiritual transformation: A meaning-system analysis. In: Raymond F. Paloutzian & Crystal L. Park (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 331-347), New York: Guilford. ISBN 1-57230-922-9
  6. ^ Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi; Stephen Hirtenstein (June 2009). The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation: The Adornment of the Spiritually Transformed (Hilyat al-abdal). Mystical Treatises of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. Oxford: Anqa Publishing (published 2009). p. 2. ISBN 9781905937325. Retrieved 31 August 2020. [...] in all true spiritual traditions rigorous self-discipline is part of the training, be it by way of retreats, fasts or other kinds of abstentions.
  7. ^ Solomon Katz (2008). A brief history of the Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research Program The global spiral. Metanexus Institute, Accessed 9 Nov., 2009.
  8. ^ Google Books Ngram Viewer statistical chart

External links[edit]