Amazonian Indigenous Spirituality and Care for the ‘Common Home’

Adelson Araújo dos Santos, SJ

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Definition of terms

In the dialogue between spiritual theology and anthropology the term “spirituality” is identified in the attitude of the human person in facing the finitude and radicality of human existence, referring to certain deep and vital values that lead us to think, feel and act.[1] In this respect, spirituality becomes an area that contains everything associated not only with religion or transcendence, but also with the desire for well-being, which can be described as a way of addressing anthropological issues and concerns in order to arrive at an ever richer and more authentic human life. In its broadest sense, therefore, it refers to any religious or ethical value that materializes as an attitude or spirit from which human actions arise.

This is the opinion of scholars of spiritual theology who argue that the concept of spirituality is not limited to any particular religion, but applies to any persons or group with a belief in the divine or transcendent and who model their lifestyle according to their own religious beliefs.[2] And it is in this context, therefore, that, as we speak of Christian, Zen, Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim spirituality, so we can also speak of “indigenous spirituality.”

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