Unchurched Spirituality

Eva M. Hamberg

in The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588961
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Unchurched Spirituality


This article questions the assumption that the present decline in church-based religion in Europe is part of a long-term process of decline. It also raises the issue of further research into the extent to which the decline in standard religion has contributed to the growth of spirituality outside the churches, and the apparently problematic relationship of that spirituality to science. Overall, the article is cautious in its conclusions regarding the relationship of church-based religion and spirituality, as well as on the question of the origins and strength of the social and cultural forces driving the phenomenon of unchurched spirituality. It also expresses methodological concerns relating to definition. These are but some of the issues to which research needs to turn its attention in a more systematic and sustained manner.

Keywords: church-based religion; Europe; standard religion; spirituality; science

Article.  6818 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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