More than 8,000 academics are gathered in St. Catharines, Ont., this week for the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting papers on how we live, love, learn and clash. Over the coming days, the National Post will highlight some of the most compelling. Today, Joseph Brean writes about how suburbanites find their own paths to individuality:
To sociologists of religion, they are the ?nones.?
Officially non-religious, they are not Catholic, nor Jewish, nor Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist or Anglican. Asked for their religion, they tick the box for ?none.?
But this is not quite right. Rather, according to new research presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the ?nones? look more like ?somes,? with a great many still behaving as ?spiritual seekers? in their own way.
In an age of ?individually constructed belief systems and personal spiritual practices,? the rise of the nones ?may not necessarily be coupled with a complete decline of other types of religiosity,? according to Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, a Canadian studying at Oxford University.
This is the buffet view of religion and, as her research suggests, Canadians are still hungry, even when they deny it.