Meet the Author
Since 2004, Lillian Daniel has served as the Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, of Glen Ellyn in the Chicago area. A renowned preacher, Daniel has taught preaching at Yale Divinity School, Chicago Theological Seminary, and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her previous books are Tell it Like it Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony (2005) and This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers (2008 – co-authored with Martin Copenhaver).
When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough isn’t an attempt to explain what the increasingly prevalent spiritual but not religious perspective is; it is a collection of loosely connected stories that recognize and respect this demographic shift while offering experiential and theological rational for why something more is needed. Daniel’s exploration addresses many of the common reasons the previously religious hesitate to try religion again, including why a more open-minded and progressive form of Christianity is attractive to her and may be for many who were raised in more restrictive religious traditions. In one of the book’s shortest chapters, “Please Stop Boring Me,” she offers an explanation that clarifies her perspective:
Being privately spiritual but not religious just doesn’t interest me. There is nothing challenging about having deep thoughts all by oneself. What is interesting is doing this work in community, where other people might call you on stuff or, heaven forbid, disagree with you. Where life with God gets rich and provocative is when you dig deeply into a tradition that you did not invent all for yourself (p.128).
Over the last few years phrases like “spiritual but not religious” and “nones” (those who have no religious affiliation) have made their way into the vocabulary of most Americans. In light of the new language and increasing popularity of spirituality defined primarily by each person embodying it, it is essential that those who have found a place in a community of faith understand and clearly articulate the value of such an association. In what ways do you find “spiritual but not religious” to be inadequate?
Lillian Daniel. When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church (Jericho Books, 2013). ISBN: 9781455523085.Tweet