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Choosing Our ReligionThe Spiritual Lives of America's Nones$
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Elizabeth Drescher

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199341221

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341221.001.0001

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Nones beyond the Numbers

Nones beyond the Numbers

(p.16) 1 Nones beyond the Numbers
Choosing Our Religion

Elizabeth Drescher

Oxford University Press

Who are Nones in demographic terms and as they identify themselves? What is meant when one talks about “religious” or “spiritual identity,” and how is this related to affiliation or unaffiliation? What is the difference between “religion” and “spirituality”? And how is “the spiritual life” related to other aspects of everyday life in general? This chapter explores these questions, taking the wealth of demographic data that has appeared in the past decade as a starting point. However, it moves quickly beyond survey data to consider more complex concepts of identity, affiliation, spirituality, and religion in light of the way Nones themselves tell the story of their spiritual lives. Narrative identity and spiritual coherence become central features in understanding Nones beyond the demographic numbers.

Keywords:   Nones, religion, spirituality, affiliation, spiritual identity, spiritual life, narrative identity

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