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Belief without BordersInside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious$
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Linda A. Mercadante

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931002.001.0001

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(p.155) 7 Community
Belief without Borders

Linda A. Mercadante

Oxford University Press

Various perspectives and problems regarding community are given, including religious views such as those from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and indigenous religions. This sets the stage for interviewees’ views on the interplay between self and community. There is some promotion of the “righteousness” of not belonging. Yet many interviewees want to do good in the world, hunger for spiritual experience, and have experimented with spiritual communities. Few report instances of “religious abuse” or distress. Nevertheless, religious authority is not widely accepted. A significant number have found spiritual community in addiction recovery groups, even if only temporarily. They often believe all religions teach the same things, and they speculate on what the ideal spiritual community would look like, if they could find it, but almost no one has found one. Copious quotes illustrate these points.

Keywords:   community, religions, self, experience, authority, addiction recovery, spiritual

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