I saw the question What is the difference between philosophy and religion? which is interesting, but I am wondering what is a concept or term which categorizes/bundles all the meanings of philosophy, religion, and spirituality. Is it just "belief system"? If that is the case, then can we say it is "theory"? Or "metaphysics"? Is there a single word that bundles it all up? "Practice", "mythology", "teachings"?

2 Answers 2


In German there's the word "Weltanschauung" for that, it's apparently roughly translated to world-view: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldview

  • Came here to say this. The Germans have great words for philosophical dialogues.
    – dgo
    Jul 7, 2022 at 16:33

I would claim the word "philosophy" in fact captures all three.

The etymology and also the main meaning of the word "philosophy" is literally "love (and pursuit and practice) of wisdom (concerning life)".

In this sense it encompasses both religion and spirituality as types of wisdom concerning this life.

For example, Indian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism are termed as "philosophical systems".

Even religions based on faith are philosophical systems and in fact much of what is called scholastic philosophy was about clarifying matters of Christian dogma.

Philosophy can even talk about itself at a meta level and is still called philosophy. In other words, metaphilosophy is still philosophy.

Religion, spirituality and worldview cannot do that at a meta level and still be called the same. For example, one does not have a religion about religion or a spirituality about spirituality.

Another example: "My philosophy of life is such and such..".

So philosophy as a concept is quite versatile.

Not to be confused with "modern academic philosophy" which is only a specific type of doing philosophy.

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