What Do The “Spiritual But Not Religious” Really Believe?

My spirituality has no hint of other-worldliness. It is firmly located in the Here and Now. With You and the dirt under my feet.
From a sociological standpoint though, this group fascinates me.

The Dish

In her new book, Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious, Linda A. Mercadante attempts to find out. Kristin Aune runs down the essentials of “SBNRs”:

[Mercadante] explores their thoughts on transcendence, human nature, community and afterlife and finds that they don’t believe in an interventionist or personal God (if “God” exists, they think God is part of creation, not separate from it). As for human nature, they don’t see themselves as sinners needing salvation, but as “inherently good” selves needing freedom and choice so that their “purity, even divinity” can shine.

This focus on the self affects their view of community. “Many interviewees did much more than just ‘question authority’,” Mercadante says. “Instead, they relocated it within, relativized it to each person, and detached it from any particular spirituality community.” Some belonged to recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but none had a…

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About Kristen Chapman Gibbons

Loosely connected facts: Storyteller. Curator of a Better Internet. Lifelong Politico. Social Media Maven. Creativity and Empathy Evangelist. Performer. Creator of Content Worth Sharing. Digital Strategist. Former Social Worker. Decade teaching in Higher Ed. Master's Degree in Theology. Married to an Irishman. 3 darling kiddos. Preacher's kid. Appalachian. Music maker. Music devour-er. ENTP. Bohemian. Geeky. Obsessed with thrift stores and all things vintage. Lover of species.

View all posts by Kristen Chapman Gibbons

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