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More Spiritual Than Religious: Changes In The Religious Field Require New Approaches

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Chapter Summary

?Lived religion' may dwell in sub-currents of religious organizations, or flourish outside organized religion. In our Western cultures the self-identification of "being spiritual" is one of the increasingly popular ways of expressing an individual—and eventually unconventional—form of religiosity or the search for it. This chapter focuses on the "spiritual" self-identification: it discusses the problem of a theoretical framework for understanding "spirituality," it summarizes extant empirical results and presents the own empirical findings. The chapter considers "spirituality" to be the self-identification of research participants and not a scientific concept. The term, ?lived religion' provides a basic conceptual framework for understanding and researching the contemporary "spirituality" and spiritual quest. It decisively suggests taking the religious self-understanding of the people on the street, everyday religion, as point of departure for reflection and research. Thus, this chapter approaches "spirituality" as part of ?lived religion'.

Keywords: lived religion; religious organizations; self-identification; spirituality



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