Joy – Concept, origin, religion and differences with joy

We explain what joy is, the origin of the term and its religious meaning in Christianity. Also, the difference between joy and happiness.

Joy can be considered a form of spiritual pleasure.

What is joy?

The term joy can be understood as a maximum degree of fullness and optimism to exist. It can be synonymous with “contentment”, “rejoicing” or “joy”, although in general it is a word little used in everyday language, which over time has been acquiring a predominantly religious use, linked with the doctrine of Christianity.

The word joy comes from the Latin term gaudium and this one from the verb gaudere, translatable as “rejoice” or “rejoice”, similar to the word enjoyment. Despite being synonymous, both terms are used in different senses and cultural contexts, as a result of the influence of Christian thought in the West.

Thus, joy was historically linked with joy “of the soul,” that is, with the spiritual celebration of existence, and Christian thought considered it among the fruits of the Holy Spirit (according to Saint Paul in Galatians 5:22). On the other hand, enjoyment was attributed to bodily, physical, and therefore sinful pleasure according to the same religious doctrine.

For these reasons, joy is considered in the Christian tradition as a virtue, more or less identifiable as the joy of the Christian to contemplate the greatness of the kingdom of God. In other words, it is a form of spiritual, mystical pleasure.

Difference between joy and joy

In principle, joy and happiness could be synonymous, separated in any case by a matter of gradation, that is, that joy constitutes a greater degree of rejoicing than mere joy. However, these nuances are not usually taken into account in everyday speech.

On the other hand, in religious and biblical language, joy is a very predominant term, both in the sense in which we have explained it previously, or as a simple synonym of joy.