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Choosing Our Religion

The Spiritual Lives of America's Nones

Elizabeth Drescher

Hardcover

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Description

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 the United States today?

In Choosing Our Religion, Elizabeth Drescher explores the diverse, complex spiritual lives of Nones across generations and across categories of self-identification such as Spiritual-But-Not-Religious, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, just Spiritual, and more. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews 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 by which 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 how Nones 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.

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780199341221, 344pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2016



About the Author

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 (2011) and co-author of Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (2012).