Table of Contents

A Personal Prelude: Confessions of a Former SBNR.
Chapter One - Introduction.
Chapter Two - Waking from the Dream.
Chapter Three - The Interviewees.
Chapter Four - Common Themes.
Chapter Five - Transcendence.
Chapter Six - Human Nature.
Chapter Seven - Community.
Chapter Eight - Afterlife.
Chapter Nine - Conclusions and Implications.
Afterword - Rita Rodriquez and the Resiliency of Religion.
Appendix - Research Methodology "Nones"-those without religious affiliation-now outnumber even the largest Protestant denominations in America. Many of these "nones" self-identify as "spiritual but not religious" (SBNR). This book represents one of the first qualitative research studies of SBNRs, analyzing about one hundred in-depth interviews, as well as many more informal conversations, site visits, and focus groups. In it, spiritual explorers describe their journeys, unpack their beliefs, and explain their feelings about organized religion. The book seriously considers the latent theology within this movement and pays particular attention to interviewees ideas of divine transcendence, human nature, community, and afterlife. Even though SBNRs routinely discount creeds and doctrines, their comments reveal an emerging set of beliefs, many of them purposely in opposition to doctrines they associate with Christianity. This growing SBNR "theology" promises to dramatically change the spiritual, social, and political character of America, affecting inter-religious dialogue, church growth, and the common good of society. Since SBNRs can be found inside as well as outside faith groups, the research challenges widespread views of religion in America. The book not only contests superficial attitudes toward the SBNR movement, more importantly it unpacks a profound shift going on today in American religious belief and practice.