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As Spirituality Rises, Many Young People Are Redefining and Rethinking Religion

This article was originally posted on Teen Vogue by Elizabeth Bucar.

They referred to specific practices when asked to give examples of spirituality – mindfulness, meditation, yoga, prayer, tarot card readings, viewing art – making it clear that, for many, spirituality is something one does, not only something one believes in.

Young people don’t think institutions play the same role in spirituality as they do with religion. Evelyn Stovin, who grew up in Federal Way, Washington explained, “religious Christians go to church often.” In contrast, someone who is spiritually Christian may “follow their faith in God and the Bible.” “They may still go to church,” she said, “but it is not as important as their individual faith.”

Most mentioned that you can customize spirituality and several said that they adopt practices from many traditions and communities. Zeennah Akorede, a 19-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, said her peers think spirituality allows more choice when compared to religion, and doesn’t feel like “something that requires too much of us.” She added, spirituality “is like choosing your own adventure.”

The Rise of Spirituality

The concept of spirituality has a long history in the U.S. From Native Americans, to Transcendentalists, to Alcoholics Anonymous, to new age seekers who, in the 1970s, adopted a hodgepodge of spiritual practices in the pursuit of alternative ways of life — spirituality has increasingly become seen as a category separate from religion.

Continue reading at Teen Vogue.

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