Listening to the Call of Multiple Religious Belonging
This chapter observes that many undergraduates find themselves drawn to more than one religious tradition, philosophical perspective, or lifestance. Indeed, the concept of “multiple religious belonging” may describe a very common circumstance, in which human beings find themselves drawn to, and sometimes overwhelmed by, an eclectic blend of beliefs and practices. Certain parallels may be drawn between these experiences and the broader experience of adolescent women, who find themselves pulled in many directions by the demands of contemporary culture. The chapter brings together a discussion of Mary Pipher’s book Reviving Ophelia with the example of “Sheila” in Habits of the Heart (ed. Robert Bellah et al.). Rather than assuming that experiences of multiple belonging result from confusion or indifference, the author counsels meeting these perspectives where they are, exploring how this quest for meaning might positively shape vocational reflection and discernment.
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