"Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ~ T.S. Eliot in "Burnt Norton"

Friday, January 18, 2013

NPR: Losing Our Religion

Each morning this week, NPR has discussed various aspects of the fact that many young Americans (1 in 3) are abandoning organized religion in a series called "Losing our Religion." As we have been discussing the definitions of words like ”religious” and “spiritual” and “devout” in class, I wanted to link you to this serial radio discussion in order to further enhance that conversation. It is not a class requirement that you listen to this, but I thought you might all find it interesting, so perhaps you’ll listen to it while you fold your laundry or some such thing. As a scholar of religious studies, particularly in the American context, this is incredibly interesting especially in what it might mean for the future of American religion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, whether here, where you are welcome to post in the comments section, or in class. You'll have an official blog assignment this weekend as well and that discussion will be lead by your classmates. This is just something that I found interesting and relevant and hope that you will as well.


  1. I do think it is interesting to see the number of young americans who no longer associate with any religion in particular. While an association for any particular organized religion is diminishing, 1/5 don't identify with any particular organized group, this doesn't necessarily mean they deny having any particular faith. While I was checking out the news on CNN.com, I found an articular related to this topic about a mother raising her children without religion, the struggles she's faced, and her reasons for it. Her blog has drawn a large audience and interest from both ends of the group. The article can be found here:


    Her blog is also linked here:


    While I identify with the Catholic Church and firmly believe my faith is an important aspect of my life, the opposite stance is interesting and necessary. I am a huge proponent of questioning my faith, the Church and its teachings, and seeking answers the questions raised. I believe being challenged helps me find a deeper meaning and even if doubt arises, I don't think doubting is necessarily bad but rather what makes me human. Understanding the divine and what religion teaches us isn't always easy to take; if religion were simple, clear and obvious, we wouldn't be having this conversation would we?

  2. I actually listened to these in the mornings while driving to school, although I did not here the complete series. I think it is very interesting what those being interviewed are saying. I noticed that a few of them said that they do not identify themselves with an organized religion but still consider themselves to be "spiritual." One of them said she would do something that looked like praying before going to sleep, but she does not identify with any religion. I thought this was interesting because it sort of raise the question about whether praying is only practicable only when one belongs to a specific religion.