Spiritual, but Not Religious Understanding Unchurched America

ISBN-10: 0195146808
ISBN-13: 9780195146806
Edition: 2001
Authors: Robert C. Fuller
List price: $45.00 Buy it from $29.88
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Description: Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/20/2001
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 9.09" wide x 6.10" long x 0.98" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched spirituality in America? Is it a recent phenomenon, a New Age fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential aspect of the American experience? In Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller offers fascinating answers to these questions. He shows that alternative spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, dating back to the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic, and witchcraft ran high. Fuller traces such unchurched traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to new philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, right up to the current interest in meditation, channeling, divination, and a host of other unconventional spiritual practices. Throughout, Fuller argues that far from the flighty and narcissistic dilettantes they are often made out to be, unchurched spiritual seekers embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on inner sources of spirituality and on this world rather than the afterlife; they believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind's untapped powers; they see a fundamental unity between science and religion and an equality between genders and races; and they are more willing to test their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable. Timely, sweeping in its scope, and informed by a clear historical understanding, Spiritual But Not Religious offers fresh perspective on the growing numbers of Americans who find their spirituality outside the church.

Robert C. Fuller is the Caterpillar Professor of Religious Studies at Bradley University. Fuller has published a dozen books, including Spiritual, But Not Religious: Understanding Unchurched America, Wonder: From Emotion to Spirituality, and Spirituality in the Flesh: Bodily Sources of Religious Experience.

Unchurched Spirituality: An Introduction
The Emergence of Unchurched Traditions
The Flowering of Metaphysical Religion
Exotic Messages, Familiar Themes: Contemporary Involvement in the American Dilemma
Alternative Medicines, Alternative Worldviews
Powers of the Hidden Self: Psychological Spirituality
Barnes and Noble as Synagogue: The New Eclecticism in American Religion
Unchurched Religion: A Scholarly Agenda
Notes
Index

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