Spiritual But Not Religious

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195146806
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Fuller traces the history of alternative spiritual practices in America including astrology, Transcendentalism, and channeling.

Spiritual but not Religious

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198033547
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched spirituality in America? Is it a recent phenomenon, a New Age fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential aspect of the American experience? In Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller offers fascinating answers to these questions. He shows that alternative spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, dating back to the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic, and witchcraft ran high. Fuller traces such unchurched traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to new philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, right up to the current interest in meditation, channeling, divination, and a host of other unconventional spiritual practices. Throughout, Fuller argues that far from the flighty and narcissistic dilettantes they are often made out to be, unchurched spiritual seekers embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on inner sources of spirituality and on this world rather than the afterlife; they believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind's untapped powers; they see a fundamental unity between science and religion and an equality between genders and races; and they are more willing to test their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable. Timely, sweeping in its scope, and informed by a clear historical understanding, Spiritual But Not Religious offers fresh perspective on the growing numbers of Americans who find their spirituality outside the church.

Belief Without Borders

Author: Linda A. Mercadante
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199931003
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A dramatic rise in ''nones''—individuals without religious affiliation—has taken place in less than two decades. Many of these people are seekers who self-identify as ''spiritual but not religious (SBNR).'' In Belief without Borders, theologian Linda Mercadante, once an SBNR herself, sets out to find them and let them speak for themselves.

Religious Revolutionaries

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250110297
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this clever and entertaining look at the United States and religious freedom, Robert C. Fuller introduces us to religious revolutionaries who, in very unique ways, shaped American religious tradition and fought to establish new forms of spirituality. Chronological in scope, Religious Revolutionaries takes us from Puritanism and Calvinism in America's colonial period to present-day belief systems. We meet religious rebels who are widely recognized, such as Thomas Jefferson, the architect of our constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. We meet Andrew Jackson Davis, America's first trance channeler and forceful champion of the inner divinity of every person. We are introduced to Mary Daly, who openly confronted the sexist bias of most organized religion. We also learn about trailblazers such as Phineas P. Quimby, who challenged the Protestant theology of his day and whose ideas became the foundation for Christian Science philosophy, and James Cone, the bold spokesperson for black power and black spirituality. Religious Revolutionaries is a page-turner that focuses on the people who shaped religion in the United States, but it is also a captivating journey through the history of our diverse country.

Wonder

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807889909
Format: PDF
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The attempt to identify the emotional sources of religion goes back to antiquity. In an exploration that bridges science and spirituality, Robert C. Fuller makes the convincing case that a sense of wonder is a principal source of humanity's belief in the existence of an unseen order of life. Like no other emotion, Fuller argues, wonder prompts us to pause, admire, and open our hearts and minds. With a voice that seamlessly blends the scientific and the contemplative, Fuller defines wonder in keeping with the tradition of Socrates--as an emotion related to curiosity and awe that stimulates engagement with the immediate physical world. He draws on the natural and social sciences to explain how wonder can, at the same time, elicit belief in the existence of a more-than-physical reality. Chapters examining emotions in evolutionary biology and the importance of wonder in human cognitive development alternate with chapters on John Muir, William James, and Rachel Carson, whom Fuller identifies as "exemplars of wonder." The writings and lives of these individuals express a functional side of emotion: that the very survival of life on earth today may depend on the empathy, compassion, and care that are aroused by a sense of wonder. Forging new pathways between the social sciences, philosophy, belief, and cultural history, Wonder deepens our understanding of the complex sources of personal spirituality and fulfillment.

Sacred Subdivisions

Author: Justin Wilford
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814708390
Format: PDF
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In an era where church attendance has reached an all-time low, recent polling has shown that Americans are becoming less formally religious and more promiscuous in their religious commitments. Within both mainline and evangelical Christianity in America, it is common to hear of secularizing pressures and increasing competition from nonreligious sources. Yet there is a kind of religious institution that has enjoyed great popularity over the past thirty years: the evangelical megachurch. Evangelical megachurches not only continue to grow in number, but also in cultural, political, and economic influence. To appreciate their appeal is to understand not only how they are innovating, but more crucially, where their innovation is taking place. In this groundbreaking and interdisciplinary study, Justin G. Wilford argues that the success of the megachurch is hinged upon its use of space: its location on the postsuburban fringe of large cities, its fragmented, dispersed structure, and its focus on individualized spaces of intimacy such as small group meetings in homes, which help to interpret suburban life as religiously meaningful and create a sense of belonging. Based on original fieldwork at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, one of the largest and most influential megachurches in America, Sacred Subdivisions explains how evangelical megachurches thrive by transforming mundane secular spaces into arenas of religious significance.

Spiritual Marketplace

Author: Wade Clark Roof
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400823086
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In large chain bookstores the "religion" section is gone and in its place is an expanding number of topics including angels, Sufism, journey, recovery, meditation, magic, inspiration, Judaica, astrology, gurus, Bible, prophesy, evangelicalism, Mary, Buddhism, Catholicism, and esoterica. As Wade Clark Roof notes, such changes over the last two decades reflect a shift away from religion as traditionally understood to more diverse and creative approaches. But what does this splintering of the religious perspective say about Americans? Have we become more interested in spiritual concerns or have we become lost among trends? Do we value personal spirituality over traditional religion and no longer see ourselves united in a larger community of faith? Roof first credited this religious diversity to the baby boomers in his bestselling A Generation of Seekers (1993). He returns to interview many of these people, now in mid-life, to reveal a generation with a unique set of spiritual values--a generation that has altered our historic interpretations of religious beliefs, practices, and symbols, and perhaps even our understanding of the sacred itself. The quest culture created by the baby boomers has generated a "marketplace" of new spiritual beliefs and practices and of revisited traditions. As Roof shows, some Americans are exploring faiths and spiritual disciplines for the first time; others are rediscovering their lost traditions; others are drawn to small groups and alternative communities; and still others create their own mix of values and metaphysical beliefs. Spiritual Marketplace charts the emergence of five subcultures: dogmatists, born-again Christians, mainstream believers, metaphysical believers and seekers, and secularists. Drawing on surveys and in-depth interviews for over a decade, Roof reports on the religious and spiritual styles, family patterns, and moral vision and values for each of these subcultures. The result is an innovative, engaging approach to understanding how religious life is being reshaped as we move into the next century.

Spirituality in the Flesh

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199709052
Format: PDF
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It is now generally accepted that the structure and function of the human body deeply influence the nature of human thought. As a consequence, our religious experiences are at least partially determined by our sensory organs, emotional programs, sexual sensibilities, and the neural framework of our brains. In Spirituality in the Flesh, Robert C. Fuller investigates how studying the body can help us to answer the profoundest spiritual questions. Why is it that some religious traditions assign spiritual currency to pain? How do neurochemically driven emotions, such as fear, shape our religious actions? What is the relationship between chemically altered states of consciousness and religious innovation? Using recent biological research to illuminate religious beliefs and practices, Fuller delves into topics as diverse as apocalypticism, nature religion, Native American peyotism, and the sexual experimentalism of nineteenth-century communal societies, in every case seeking middle ground between the arguments currently emanating from scientists and humanists. He takes most scientific interpreters to task for failing to understand the inherently cultural aspects of embodied experience even as he chides most religion scholars for ignoring new knowledge about the biological substrates of human thought and behavior. Comfortable with the language of scientific analysis and sympathetic to the inherently subjective aspects of religious events, Fuller introduces the biological study of religion by joining together this era's unprecedented understanding of bodily states with an expert's knowledge of religious phenomena. Culling together insights from scientific observations, historical allusions, and literary references, Spirituality in the Flesh offers a bold look at the biological underpinnings of religion and opens up new and exciting agendas for understanding the nature and value of human religiosity.

The Body of Faith

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022602511X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The postmodern view that human experience is constructed by language and culture has informed historical narratives for decades. Yet newly emerging information about the biological body now makes it possible to supplement traditional scholarly models with insights about the bodily sources of human thought and experience. The Body of Faith is the first account of American religious history to highlight the biological body. Robert C. Fuller brings a crucial new perspective to the study of American religion, showing that knowledge about the biological body deeply enriches how we explain dramatic episodes in American religious life. Fuller shows that the body’s genetically evolved systems—pain responses, sexual passion, and emotions like shame and fear—have persistently shaped the ways that Americans forge relationships with nature, to society, and to God. The first new work to appear in the Chicago History of American Religion series in decades, The Body of Faith offers a truly interdisciplinary framework for explaining the richness, diversity, and endless creativity of American religious life.

Naming the Antichrist

Author: Robert C. Fuller
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195109791
Format: PDF
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A history of Anti-christ doctrines in the United States.