Scott Muir My aim here is not to fix any “real meaning” to James’ output or speculate about his personal identity, but rather to illustrate how he presents an entangled web of meanings that his listeners may appropriate for their own religious/spiritual/secular constructions of the sacred.
Tag Archives: spiritual but not religious
Kaya Oakes And yet, there was a real sense throughout doing the interviews that comprise a lot of the book that this was deeply sacred work: holding people’s stories, amplifying them through writing, and engaging in dialogue post publication about this fragile thing we call faith.
Elizabeth Drescher . . . what constitutes “religion” and the “spiritual” for most people often has little in common with what scholars study and demographers track.
In our interview series, “Seven Questions,” we ask some very smart people about what inspires them and how their latest work enhances our understanding of the sacred in cultural life. For this segment, we solicited responses from Joseph O. Baker
William B. Parsons 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. We’ll shed some light on the spiritual but not religious movement (SBNRM) and on “being” spiritual but not religious (BSBNR).
Mark Hulsether If there is any part of our culture where the (typically noxious) idea of trickle-down influence actually makes sense, Björk is a good place to look. She ranks amid an extremely select handful of musician’s musicians whose creative innovations especially matter. This year her superb record, Vulnicura, flew less under the popular radar than some of her earlier work, since it was coordinated with an exhibit showcasing her fashion innovations at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and features in the New Yorker and New York Times Magazine.
Gary Laderman Death. Violence. Carnage. Hatred. Warfare. Demonization.
Bliss. Transcendence. Community. Comfort. Love. Glorification.
Overall, I’d say this year has been a mixed bag for religion. But then again, I’d have to say that every year throughout human history religious acts and beliefs have brought both bad and good to communities of people across the globe. America in 2015 is no different.
Jolyon Baraka Thomas There is nothing quite so touching (or quite so irritating) as having a total stranger slump against you in a deep sleep on a Tokyo train. Like the Internet, Tokyo trains are equally intimate and anonymous. They are spaces where one encounters fellow Tokyoites in all their wacky fashion, their frenetic mobile phone gaming, their inane conversations, their drunken abandon. Tokyo trains are raucous in the evenings and eerily silent during the day. They are often uncomfortably crowded, but they are nevertheless a place to temporarily let down one’s guard. I’ve actually boarded the Yamanote circle line and ridden it all the way around the city just so I could sneak in an hour-long nap.
Gary Laderman What do you think? Is religious life fully captured by survey questions, graphs and bar charts? Or do these methods of collecting and displaying data fall short as indicators of the spiritual lives of Americans? Is it time to panic about the supposed decline of religion, or should we look to other metrics and methods to delve into what is really happening on the American religious landscape?