Many faiths have 'nominals' who live their religion in name only - New York News

Many faiths have 'nominals' who live their religion in name only

Updated:

By: Matthew Brown, WorldNow

Researchers call them "mushy Christians" or "survey Christians." A recent story identified them as the "nominals" - people who claim a religious identity but may live it in name only.

In the ongoing parsing of the Pew Research Center's survey of American Jews, Religion News Service's Cathy Lynn Grossman wrote a smart analysis that looked beyond Jews who said they "belong to the tribe" by way of culture and ancestry, not religion.

In examining survey research into other faiths, she found what she called "nominals" among Christians, too.

"They're proud - but not practicing - Catholics," Grossman wrote. "They're Protestants who don't think Jesus is essential to their salvation."

Researchers told RNS that they call them "survey Christians" who default to their religious heritage, or "mushy Christians" who are indifferent to religious doctrine and practice.

The "nominals" are like the "nones," those who don't claim any religious affiliation, in that they won't return to their inherited faith as they get older, according to scholars Grossman interviewed.

"Believers today are still interested in a communal expression of faith. They just want a more 'nimble' religion," author and scholar Phyllis Tickle said.

Jon Sweeny, a Catholic whose wife is a rabbi, wrote in the Washington Post that his faith may not fit traditional norms or definitions but that doesn't make him more or less religious than any other believer.

"Religious identity is not what it used to be. It certainly is not necessarily singular. In fact, I am finding more and more affinity, today, with people who feel simultaneously religiously committed and religiously amorphous," he wrote. "I am a Catholic whose spiritual practice is mostly Jewish. That may sound strange to you, but it is not as odd as it seems. It makes sense in my life."

More Stories

European religious apathy and the steep decline of Christianity in Britain

Sociologist explains how religion benefits even atheists

How social and digital media are changing #religion

 


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Girl drowns off Coney Island

    Girl drowns off Coney Island

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:07:25 GMT
    A girl from Staten Island apparently drowned off Coney Island Beach Tuesday evening, police said. Good Samaritans pulled Takara McDuffy, 10, and a 9-year-old girl from the water near Stillwell Avenue at about 7 p.m., the NYPD said. Medics took McDuffy to Coney Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.
    A girl from Staten Island apparently drowned off Coney Island Beach Tuesday evening, police said. Good Samaritans pulled Takara McDuffy, 10, and a 9-year-old girl from the water near Stillwell Avenue at about 7 p.m., the NYPD said. Medics took McDuffy to Coney Island Hospital where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.
  • 'Mortified': stage performers over share

    'Mortified': stage performers over share

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:56:08 GMT
    Some might call Jenn Wehrung a performance artist. Others, more simply, a masochist. This Brooklynite shares her deepest innermost thoughts from 6th grade in a show perhaps best summed up by its name: "Mortified."Wehrung is 37, single, and claims to have $37 in her bank account.Financially poor maybe, the ensemble real-life characters of "Mortified" are all filthy rich in memories.
    Some might call Jenn Wehrung a performance artist. Others, more simply, a masochist. This Brooklynite shares her deepest innermost thoughts from 6th grade in a show perhaps best summed up by its name: "Mortified."Wehrung is 37, single, and claims to have $37 in her bank account.Financially poor maybe, the ensemble real-life characters of "Mortified" are all filthy rich in memories.
  • FAA bans U.S. flights to Tel Aviv airport

    FAA bans U.S. flights to Tel Aviv airport

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:39 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:39:02 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices