ATR Home
The Anglican Theological Review Winter Issue Spring Issue Summer Issue Fall Issue
 
CONVERSATIONS
ADVERTISE
RESOURCES
CONTACT US

Spiritual but Not Religious: The Influence of the Current Romantic Movement

Owen C. Thomas

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE ARTICLE PDF

A significant number of people today identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” distancing themselves from continuing religious traditions of formation in daily life. Various explanations have been offered for this. This article claims that this phenomenon is the result of the influence of a new Romantic movement that began to emerge in the 1960s. Historians, sociologists, philosophers, and contemporary theologians give evidence for such a new movement, which is found in popular culture, and in postmodernism, neoconservatism, the new consumerism, and especially in the current spirituality movement. Romantic movements tend to disparage traditional religion and to affirm unorthodox, exotic, mystical, and individualistic spiritualities; this is true of the current spirituality movement. The current spirituality movement also resembles Romantic movements in its ambiguity, and in its destructive as well as constructive tendencies.

 
Anglican Theological Review • 1407 E. 60th Street • Chicago, IL 60637 • (773) 380-7046