Thursday, January 30, 2020

Potential Thesis Topic: SBNR

There is a new movement in the west called “Spiritual but not Religious”. It even has an acronym which is used rather widely in social media: SBNR. On one hand this term seems to mean everything and nothing at all to those that “practice”, so to speak, this non-religion, but there is also a recent movement to form this into something that much more closely resembles a religion – to organize and categorize many variant ideas in this regard into something more “official”. Recent media reports gushing about this movement make it clear that it is becoming (perhaps it always was) pagan/new age in its makeup. A quick Google image search in this regard provides lots of Buddhist and Hindu images. Maybe that means something and maybe it doesn’t. We don’t know. That is why we need a solid thesis on this topic! Although we might not think this pagan/new age slant (if SBNR really does have that slant) matters to us, the elite of our western society are promoting this movement as an acceptable alternative to faith traditions considered by this same elite as intolerant (read: Christianity) – and pushing its placement into public schools. It is tempting to now discuss the issues we as Orthodox Christians might have with the public schools in the west ad nauseum, but we will resist that temptation for now and focus here on SBNR. Although a good thesis on the western public school system would also provide value to the Church…

If the powers that be in western society are promoting the SBNR movement we should understand it from an Orthodox point of view, and we can begin that conversation for the greater Church with a solid thesis in this regard. Please contact me if you have questions or it you would like to discuss this topic further.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

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