New Article Published on Politicaltheology.com
Read my latest publication titled, “I Wasn’t Planning on Becoming Spiritual but not Religious: The Human Cost of Forced Termination in Religiously-Affiliated Higher Education.” This article was published on April 7, 2022 on politicaltheology.com. Gerald Beyer, Professor of Christian Ethics at Villanova praised the article, stating, “Every seminary and university administrator should read Mercadante’s article before they make decisions about hiring, retention, and termination,” says Gerald Beyer, author of Just Universities. “In the final essay, Linda Mercadante makes an invaluable contribution by underscoring how forced termination – and the hypocrisy it reveals at Protestant seminaries and Catholic universities – can lead to spiritual crises, abandonment of the church, and…
New Article on “Nones”
Are You a “None?” Many people are unsure whether they are “spiritual but not religious,” agnostic, or just plain not religious. Read this article, for which I was interviewed, and see if it adds some clarity to your identity. https://www.northjersey.com/in-depth/news/2021/09/20/nones-religiously-unaffiliated-americans-increasing/4386549001/ Picture courtesy of Austin Kocher
“The Chair” on Netflix is Real
If my husband hadn’t been sitting next to me, I would’ve been crying as I watched the new Netflix series “The Chair.” It’s supposed to be a comedy, but it’s real. I know this from my own experience in academia and from the many academics – proven professionals who are forcibly terminated for made-up charges, or forced to retire, pushed out, misused, manipulated, or mishandled — that I’ve interviewed recently. As they show in the series, tenure doesn’t mean much anymore. Nor does loyalty, nor dedicated service, nor intelligence, nor years of excellent teaching. Although ethnicity and prejudice is its calling card and a vital part of the story, the…
From Teaching Faith to Losing Faith
Many think of a Christian seminary as a quiet place of contemplation, faith-seeking, and life-changing learning. And it often is. There you will find dedicated teachers who try to turn their students toward God and toward others. These professors have endured long years of schooling, low salaries, and 24-7 work schedules: counseling, grading, meetings, research, writing, dealing with student angst, and hours in the classroom. It can be an inspiring place for students and teachers alike. What many don’t realize, however, is that many of these hard-working teachers who have tried to instill love of God and world-helping ethics in their students are now being pushed out. It is true…
Getting inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious
What are they thinking about? SBNRs have been misrepresented as “salad bar spiritualists” or “eclectic dabblers.” But when you really listen to them, you find they are thinking seriously about theological issues. For more on this, see my recently published book with Oxford University Press: Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious. Available in hardback at your local bookseller or through oup.org, or as an ebook, on Amazon Kindle and other ebook sellers. See my blog posts as well on CNN.Com Belief, Oxford University Press blog, and The Huffington Post. Let me know what you think.
The “Spiritual but not Religious” Show
Log on to the “Spiritual but not Religious” Show as host George Lewis interviews Linda Mercadante about her spiritual memoir and research project. They also have a good chat on spirituality, religion, and mystical experience. Listen and post a comment. “The Spiritual but not Religious Show” interview with host George Lewis, Mar. 1, 2011 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13033144
Encouraging Reflections on Spirituality, Theology and Young People
Check out this article in America magazine by a professor at a Roman Catholic school. His observations on the current needs and contributions of students, as well as their critique of religion, is well taken. He calls them idealistic realists, which fits well. Read it and let us know what you think. http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12681
Are We Being Honest? Are We Being Respectful?
Recently I attended a Winter Solstice event held at a United Methodist Church. On this evening, they did many of the things I have become familiar with from my three years researching alternative spiritualities and the ‘spiritual but not religious’ movement. At this event they “called the directions”, had a guided meditation about finding spirit in nature, did some drumming, invited people to do a dance from Dances of Universal Peace, and had a hymn to the goddess Persephone. Now, I realize that the mainline Protestant churches are more and more open to inter-faith dialogue and cooperation. And I realize the white mainline Protestantism is rightfully concerned about its decline in…
In memory of Clark Pinnock
I just came back from the funeral of a dear friend and mentor of mine, Clark Pinnock, held this week in Hamilton, ON. I met him when I was a student at Regent College, wondering how I — a journalist, feminist, and former atheist — ended up in a Christian graduate school. I wasn’t sure I’d last very long in that environment where there were no female professors and many still believed in ‘the subordination of women.’ But only when I heard that one of the professors had a wife who was a feminist, did I think there was a chance for me there. I figured I’d have to ask for Clark…
A new “meta-narrative” for SBNRs?
A new theological world-view seems to be emerging for people who self-identify as "spiritual but not religious."