Professor Courtney Bender discusses growing segment of “spiritual but not religious” Americans in New York Times

According to a recent article in the New York Times:

In the 2012 survey by the Pew Religion and Public Life Project, nearly a fifth of those polled said that they were not religiously affiliated — and nearly 37 percent of that group said they were “spiritual” but not “religious.” It was 7 percent of all Americans, a bigger group than atheists, and way bigger than Jews, Muslims or Episcopalians.

Though the S.B.N.R.s, as they are sometimes known, is, as a growing segment of the population, receiving much study and attention, there seems to be quite a bit of disagreement around exactly what their beliefs are and where they come from – even among the S.B.N.R.s themselves.  Courtney Bender “complicates the stereotype” of these people in her book, The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination, by exposing some of these contradictions and misconceptions.

Read the full article at

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