So sudden have been the marked trends showing disaffection from organised religion that leaders have not internalised the evidence, says Martin Marty. They need to wake up. “Being spiritual” alone is not going to help keep the stories, the language of ethics, and the pool of volunteers embedded in religious bodies thriving.
Revivals, awakenings, ethnic shifts, mobility, and religious marketplaces have always invited drifting, says Martin Marty. But recent Pew research on the US situation suggests that there is such a big quantitative shift that it amounts to a change in the quality of commitments.
While psychological researchers sometimes ask volunteers about their dreams, a unit at the University of Wales in Lampeter, in mid Wales, collects religious experiences that can used as a resource for theology students.
According to a new report based on a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, blending elements of diverse traditions.
Several of the greatest poets in the English tradition from the Renaissance onward have sought to replace God with the human imagination, says Michael Robbins. They have succeeded and failed in interesting ways.
Many people have lost touch with ‘institutional religion’, but not with spirituality. Henry Morgan explains how people’s passions and everyday experience can reconnect them with the God they already knew, and with prayer as a natural, integrating, liberating activity.