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The data is clear: religious affiliation is plummeting across the breadth of Christian denominations. And yet interest in "spirituality" is on the rise. So what is behind the sea change in American religion? With the same comprehensive research and insider reporting that made Christianity for the Rest of Us an indispensable guide to cultivating thriving churches, Diana Butler Bass offers a fresh interpretation of the "spiritual but not religious" trend.
Bass—who has spent her career teaching the history, culture, and politics of religion, and engaging church communities across the nation—brings forth her deep knowledge of the latest national studies and polls, along with her own groundbreaking analysis, as she seeks to fully comprehend the decline in Christian attendance and affiliation that started decades ago—and has increased exponentially in recent years.
Some contend that we're undergoing yet another evangelical revival; others suggest that Christian belief and practice is eroding entirely as traditional forms of faith are replaced by new ethical, and areligious, choices. But Bass argues compellingly that we are, instead, at a critical stage in a completely new spiritual awakening, a vast interreligious progression toward individual and cultural transformation, and a wholly new kind of postreligious faith.
Offering direction and hope to individuals and churches, Christianity After Religion is Bass's call to approach faith with a newfound freedom that is both life-giving and service driven. And it is a hope-filled plea to see and participate in creating a fresh, vital, contemporary way of faith that stays true to the real message of Jesus.
“Bass has done it again! She’s spot on-prophetic, compelling, and most importantly, hopeful.”
-Rob Bell, author of Love Wins
“Refreshing, evocative, well informed and original.”
-Harvey Cox, author of The Future of Faith
“Bass explains how experience, connection, and service are replacing theology as keys to the next Great Awakening. It’s a fascinating story.”
-Bill McKibben, author of Earth and founder of 360.org
“Interesting, insightful, impressive and important.”
-Marcus Borg, author of Speaking Christian
“…an important and life-giving book, written by … one of our finest religious writers.”
-Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak
“Join Bass in rebuilding religion from the bottom up!”
-Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation and author of Falling Upward
“It is one blockbuster of an analysis that is also a delight to read.”
-Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence
“Diana reminds us here that, before every great awakening, folks say it is impossible... and after every great awakening, folks say it was inevitable.”
-Shane Claiborne, author and activist
“Of Bass’s many excellent books, this is the most substantive, provocative, and inspiring yet. . . . it leads to a powerful finale of sage guidance for the future.”
-Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity
“Bass ably analyzes the struggle for awareness and change that defines spiritual awakening.”
-Publishers Weekly Religion Bookline (starred review)