What does it mean to be ‘None’?

We are often told that we live in a ‘secular’ society, even though religion remains a central feature of the lives of millions, the focus of grass-roots social capital and the animator of countless campaigns for social justice. The ‘disenchantment’ narrative identified by Max Weber in his ‘secularisation thesis’ and beloved of secularists has, to a degree, been supplanted by signs of what Chris Patridge has called a ‘re-enchantment’ narrative and the persistence of what Grace Davie has called ‘believing without belonging’. Nevertheless, in spite of patch signs of growth in some faith communties, the landscape of the 21st century city is not what it was. It is fluid, superdiverse and complex. In such a context we need to get our heads round what we mean when we use terms like ‘belief’ and to take the time to understand the state of play. One resource form the USA that can help us is the online ‘Bulletin for the Study of Religion’. In the most recent issue there is an exploration of the rise of ‘Nones’ in recent US polling about religious identity and belief…..It’s an article that raises lots of questions as does the broader Bulletin and it’s well worth a read….

the meaning of life

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