Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of Americas Nones

Hardcover | April 1, 2016

byElizabeth Drescher

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To the dismay of religious leaders, study after study has shown a steady decline in affiliation and identification with traditional religions in America. By 2014, more than twenty percent of adults identified as unaffiliated - up more than seven percent just since 2007. Even more startling,more than thirty percent of those under the age of thirty now identify as "Nones" - answering "none" when queried about their religious affiliation. Is America losing its religion? Or, as more and more Americans choose different spiritual paths, are they changing what it means to be religious in theUnited States today?In Choosing Our Religion, Elizabeth Drescher explores the diverse, complex spiritual lives of Nones across generations and across categories of self-identification as "Spiritual-But-Not-Religious," "Atheist," "Agnostic," "Humanist," "just Spiritual," and more. Drawing on more than one hundredinterviews conducted across the United States, Drescher opens a window into the lives of a broad cross-section of Nones, diverse with respect to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and prior religious background. She allows Nones to speak eloquently for themselves, illuminating the processes bywhich they became None, the sources of information and inspiration that enrich their spiritual lives, the practices they find spiritually meaningful, how prayer functions in spiritual lives not centered on doctrinal belief, how morals and values are shaped outside of institutional religions, and howNones approach the spiritual development of their own children. These compelling stories are deeply revealing about how religion is changing in America - both for Nones and for the religiously affiliated family, friends, and neighbors with whom their lives remain intertwined.

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From the Publisher

To the dismay of religious leaders, study after study has shown a steady decline in affiliation and identification with traditional religions in America. By 2014, more than twenty percent of adults identified as unaffiliated - up more than seven percent just since 2007. Even more startling,more than thirty percent of those under the ag...

Elizabeth Drescher is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. Her work on American spirituality has been published in numerous periodicals including America, Salon, Sojourners, and The Washington Post. She is also the author Tweet If You [Heart] Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 1, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199341222

ISBN - 13:9780199341221

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Table of Contents

List of TablesList of FiguresAcknowledgementsIntroduction: An American Spiritual Pilgrimage1. Nones Beyond the Numbers2. Becoming None: Religiously Manufactured Spiritual Self-Invention3. Companions on the Journey: Resources for Re-Mediating Religious Affiliation4. Being None: Family, Friends, Fido and Food5. Praying Between the Lines: Prayer Practices Among the Unaffiliated6. Good Samaritan Nones: Religious Echoes and a Cosmopolitan Ethics of CareConclusion: The None-ing of American Religion and Spirituality: Some ImplicationsAppendix A: MethodologyAppendix B: Characteristics of Choosing Our Religion Interview SubjectsNotesBibliographyIndex