For FT readers in the area, Ill be giving a talk, Psychic Sophie and the Rise of the Nones, next week at the European University Institute in Florence. My talk will be sponsored by the Institutes ReligioWest project. Heres the abstract:
The most important story in American religion today is the rise of the Nones, the category of people who declare no religious affiliation. Approximately one-fifth of American adults are in this category, and their numbers have exploded in the past two decades. Surprisingly, perhaps, the Nones tend to be believers; very few of them say they are atheists or agnostics. They reject not belief but organized religion, and draw on a variety of traditions to create their own, a la carte, spiritualities. In this paper, I explore the rise of the Nones and the tensions it exposes in American law, particularly with regard to the definition of religion. To illustrate, I rely on a recent US appeals court case in which the plaintiff, Psychic Sophie, argued that the state had interfered with the exercise of her religion which she defined, in typical None fashion, as following her inner flow.
Details are here . Stop by and say hello!