This paper presents a perspective on the development of knowledge in the spiritual dimension of aging, with particular emphasis on nursing and pastoral studies. Research that provides important understandings for these two disciplines but conducted by other disciplines will also be included. Issues of definitions of spirituality and the reasons for choosing to use the term 'spirituality' rather than 'religion' in the practice settings of nursing and pastoral care in a secular society are discussed. Study from the specialties of mental health, palliative care and issues of spirituality and chronic illnesses are examined. Finally, the state of knowledge in these two disciplines is summarized and future directions in research of aging and spirituality are suggested. The paper is written from an Australian context.