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Introduction

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on 24 September 2014

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Transcript of Introduction

The Theistic Package
Spirituality is centered around
God/gods/goddesses
Practices to develop one's relationshop with God
The mysterious encounters and happenings that come to those whoa re open to them

Spirituality as something to be pursued


The Extra-Theistic Package
Spirituality centered around
Different kind of transcendence (other than theistic)
Experiences "bigger than me"
Experiences beyond the ordinary

Spirituality located in
The core of the self
Connection to the community
The sense of awe engendered by the natural world and various forms of beauty
The life philosophies crafted by an individual seeking life's meaning
Ethical Spirituality
Common ground on which the idea of Theistic and Extra-Theistic spirituality overlaps

Focused on the morality involved in both of the these packages of spirituality
Living a virtuous life
Helping others
Transcending one's own selfish interests to seek what is right

Believing and Belonging
Perspective changes the meaning
Believing: way of talking about devout spirituality
or
a way of describing superstition
Belonging: represent a positive identity
or
a symbol of being trapped in an authoritarian tradition
Where the idea of "spiritual but not religious" sometimes finds its origin

Introduction
"To what extent do you consider yourself to be a religious person?"
"To what extent do you consider yourself a spiritual person?"


The Study
Sample:
95 participants
Catholics
Conservative and liberal white Protestants
African-American Protestants
Jews
Mormons
Neo-Pagans
Seekers
Non-affiliates


Process:
Observation of religious services in each congregation, parish, temple, and sacred circle
Interview - participant's history, religion, family, work, leisure, and other pursuits
Disposable camera and interviews to explain stories of pictures
Oral diary
Initial Taxonomy
Table 1:
Spirituality is:

1.
A religious tradition
: identifying with or participating in a religious tradition
2.
Ethics
: Living by the Golden Rule, acting as a caring person
3.
God
: acknowledging and experiencing divine presence
4.
Practices
: activities in pursuit of spiritual development
5.
Mystery
: things that can't be explained by ordinary means
6.
Meaning
: wholeness and purpose in life
7.
Belief
: believing in God
8.
Connection
: transcendent sense of connection to others
9.
Ritual
: symbolic invocations of spiritual presence
10.
Awe
: transcendent sense of wonder or beauty
11.
Self
: sacred inner uniqueness of the person
The Study
The Packages
CONCLUSION
Three Distinct Cultural Discourses for Discussion of Spirituality
1. Theistic
2. Extra-Theistic
3. Ethical Spirituality

A Fourth Cultural Package
4. Spiritual but Not Religious

The lines of religion and spirituality are blurred and in an increasingly changing framework of "religion, there needs to be the idea of spirituality and religion working together to sociologically study these concepts and be able to come to any real conclusions
"Spiritual But Not Religious? Beyond Binary Choices in the Study of Religion"
Nancy T. Ammerman
Department of Sociology, Boston College
Dissatisfaction with organized religion leads to a zero-sum movement = declining "religion" and growing "spirituality"
BUT

What is the definition of religion?
What is the definition of spirituality?

Must recognize that there is overlap between the idea of religion and the idea of spirituality and address these concepts with this in mind
Thesis?
Using the study, "develop a taxonomy for a term, spirituality, which is increasingly important to any sociology of contemporary religion" by "analyzing accounts people give of what they designate as 'spiritual' in their everyday lives."
THANK YOU!
Source Citation
Ammerman, Nancy T. 2013. Spiritual But Not Religious? Beyond Binary Choices in the Study of Religion.
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
, edited by Laura Olson, pp. 258-279. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell-Wiley.
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