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Belief without BordersInside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious$
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Linda A. Mercadante

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931002.001.0001

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Religious Crisis or Spiritual Revolution?

(p.xxiv) (p.1) 1 Introduction
Belief without Borders

Linda A. Mercadante

Oxford University Press

The dramatic rise in the number of religiously unaffiliated, who nevertheless claim to be “spiritual but not religious,” suggests the need to rethink the categories of spirituality and religion. Although more a rhetorical device than true divorce, this important shift demands the study of the beliefs of “nones.” The “why” of this and the interview process are explained. The book asks whether this is a spiritual crisis or revolution, and whether the situation is really spirituality versus religion. It also explains why the study of belief, although often neglected by the social sciences, is critical. The interview process and the interviewees are discussed, showing that qualitative research is an appropriate method to elicit SBNR beliefs. A main contention is that SBNRs need to be heard in their own voices.

Keywords:   religion, spirituality, nones, spiritual but not religious, belief, interviews, rhetoric, beliefs, qualitative research

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