The central focus of this project is to investigate and understand how the “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) conceive of, and interact psychologically with, the objects of their spiritual yearning. More specifically, we aim to:
(a) expand the scope of existing SBNR research by developing reliable and widely-applicable means for accurately identifying this population.
(b) investigate the attributed features of the objects of spiritual yearning among SBNR and identify whether, and the contexts and mechanisms by which, spiritual yearning in SBNR parents is transmitted to their children.
(c) investigate ways in which SBNR interact, psychologically, with their objects of spiritual yearning
(d) identify features that may contribute to a flourishing spirituality for SBNR.
The primary activities for answering these questions will be:
(i) five different studies involving surveys, experiments, with foci on developmental, cross-cultural, and cognitive psychology
(ii) philosophical analysis resulting in theoretical and normative models for SBNR spirituality
(iii) presenting research at conferences
Concrete deliverables include nine journal article manuscripts and three conference presentations. This project will impact scholars interested in SBNR (psychologists, theologians, philosophers) as well as SBNR themselves by providing a deeper understanding of SBNR spirituality.