Diana Butler Bass used lots of visuals in her presentation a week ago. Here, she is pointing to the screen. She says "four shocks" contributed to our current climate of faith.
In other words, religion didn't look so good any more, and "unaffiliated" (with 4% atheist) became the fastest-growing group on polls of religious affiliation. Add agnostics to those who are unaffiliated, and we have 9% who are out of religion. When polls asked whether people are spiritual or religious (or both, or neither), two numbers had changed dramatically between 1999 and 2009:
2002 ~ religion was associated with ABUSE after the Roman Catholic scandal.
2003 ~ religion was associated with INCIVILITY and EXCLUSION after mainline conflict about gays.
2004 ~ religion was associated with PARTISANSHIP after the evangelical entanglement with politics.
- Spiritual, but not religious = stayed the same, at 39%
- Neither spiritual nor religions = stayed the same, at 9%
- Religious, but not spiritual = went down dramatically
- Both spiritual and religious = went way up, by 50%
RELIGION: "An institution that has organized matters pertaining to belief and that derives authority from external sources."
SPIRITUAL: "An experience that connects one with a deeper sense of self and the divine, wherein authority is validated through internal sources."
- Believing (Understanding) ~ Do you believe God exists?
- Behaving (Action) ~ Have you attended a religious service in the last week?
- Belonging (Identity) ~ Are you Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist?
THE RELIGIOUS QUESTIONSThe construction of selfhood has shifted from individualism to asking, Who are my friends? It's about community. So today we have social networking, not merely a tool but a way of life. It's the place where community happens. The need for connection is powerful, as shown by Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest of the social networks.
Believing: What do I believe? ~ and we get Creeds and Dogma
Behaving: How do I do that? ~ and we get Rules and Techniques
Belonging: Who am I? ~ and we have Membership and Choices
THE SPIRITUAL QUESTIONS
Believing: How do I believe that? ~ and we refer to Experience and Reason
Behaving: What should I do now? ~ derived from Discernment and Purpose
Belonging: Whose am I? ~ which is about Relationship and Community
In my next post, I'll show you what she calls "The Great Reversal," when she turns all of this upside down.