As many as 81.9 percent of Danes have felt a “spiritual need” in the past month, according to a new study. The paper, the largest of its kind to date, collected data from 26,678 participants of all ages.
The researchers seek to emphasize the connection between spiritual beliefs and physical health, promoting a holistic understanding of health care.
They also point to Denmark’s curious relationship with secularity. “We consider Denmark a ‘post-secular’ culture,” the researchers write.
“We hereby acknowledge that the traditionally secular and non-secular spheres are constantly mixed at the macro and micro level, that spirituality is important and present in society and in the Danes, and that religion and spirituality have not declined as expected with the increase of ‘knowledge ‘.”
Keep it quiet
In addition, the study emphasizes that you simply do not talk about spiritual matters in Denmark.
“Faith and belief are societal taboos, second only to mental disorders in magnitude,” the study proclaims.
“However, spirituality is very much present and according to some data it is growing in the population, but it is practiced and treated, it seems, privately.”
Around 75 percent of Danes are still paying members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. On the other hand, only one Dane out of 50 actually goes to church.
Church membership is more a marker of national identity than spirituality, according to some commentators.
Instead of traditional Christianity, New Age movements have crept into Danish spiritual life. Buddhism is alive and well here, and the Asherism, which brought back the old Norse pantheon, is resurgent.
In addition to this, the vocabularies of mindfulness, yoga and tantric practices – chakras and what not – have found their way into the common language.
Religion is not necessary
This development was reflected in the data. While “religious needs” are quite unimportant to the participants, “existential needs” – defined as a need to reflect on life, death and consciousness – were significantly higher.
The most deeply felt spiritual need for the Danes was, however, a “need for inner peace”.
Furthermore, women were more likely than men to have spiritual needs, as were divorcees and those in a “crisis of meaning.”
Source: The Nordic Page