Sacred Matters | On Being Spiritual but Not Religious: Past, Present, Future(s)

Recent Pew polls tell us that over 20% of the U.S. population and over 70% of the 19-28 year old crowd self-describe as being “spiritual but not religious.” That is significant, and it perks the interest of scholars of religion. But what does “being spiritual but not religious” mean? It’s on dating sites, so it must be something! But is it clear-cut and easy to identify, or is it more like what Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, California, namely: “There is no there there.” It’s a good question. In this and the next two sections we’ll shed some light on the spiritual but not religious movement (SBNRM) and on “being” spiritual but not religious (BSBNR). Lets start with the easy.

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