When One Religion Isn't Enough

  • Type: Books
  • By: Duane R. Bidwell
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Recommended by: Eric S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780807091241
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Understanding the Lives of Spiritually Fluid People

According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, in the United States a smaller number of adults now identify as Christians, while there has been a significant increase in the segment of the population that claims to be “none,” meaning they’re religiously unaffiliated. However, this term may be a misnomer because our culture strongly values “religious monogamy” - a lifetime commitment to only one system of religious beliefs. Consequently, when posed with the question of religious belief in which only one answer is acceptable, such as on a hospital patient intake form, many people select none as the most accurate response.

Bidwell argues that many Americans who select none on these type of surveys and questionnaires are actually spiritually fluid. A spiritually fluid person is someone who gleans spiritual inspiration and solace from more than one system of religious beliefs. This phenomenon is totally plausible, given the relaxation of strict immigration laws in the 1960s and the influx of new naturalized Americans that followed from all over the globe. Subsequently, our culture has been significantly influenced by several different religions over the past 50 years. One only has to look at the mainstream adoption of yoga and mindfulness meditation to recognize the impact that these belief systems have had on American society.

The author contends that even though there are many people who fit in the religious multiplicity category, most are stuck in a spiritually fluid “closet” for fear of being ostracized by others who strictly adhere to only one religion. This book was written to examine this trend and specifically to help people who find themselves in this dilemma. It is a gem for readers who are interested in interfaith relations and comparative religion.