Spiritual race is a term used by some race theorists, especially early ones. Related terms include "race soul".
Despite including soul/spirit, the terms may sometimes (in part) possibly refer not to supernatural characteristics, but to concepts that early empirical researchers could not measure or properly understand, and consequently often simply ignored or were unaware of, such as:
- Racial characteristics seen as ignored by early racial anthropology (which often had a large focus on morphology), especially characteristics such as personality characteristics, which often could not be measured by early physical anthropologists.
- Racial characteristics contributing to racial differences regarding culture and society.
- Dissatisfaction with Nordicism and possibly other (early morphological) racial classifications, with spiritual races possibly seen as providing an alternative, before more advanced empirical research started criticizing Nordicism.
- Racial genetic interests and various related aspects, according to which a race in some sense can be seen as an entity that is more than just the individuals it contains. Compare also the philosophical/scientific concept of emergence, which occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own.
- One such related aspects is group evolutionary theory/group selection, in which natural selection acts at the level of the group, again implying that a race in some sense can be seen as an entity that is more than just the individuals it contains. See also Jewish group evolutionary strategy.