Scholarship of Discovery
There has been growing interest in the religiously unaffiliated within America. This growing interest has caused a new name to come about, the Nones. The present discussion attempts to give context to the rise of the Nones and to compare the religious beliefs and habits of these American Nones with the Japanese Nationals who inhabit Japan. There are many similarities between these two groups relating to ethics, interactions with people, and connection with nature. These comparisons show that there is a possible connection between people which explains spiritual experience, even outside that of normalized, institutional religions. This “intuition of the sacred” is vital in understanding human spiritual experience and, arguably, what it means to be human. Intuition of the sacred may explain why some spiritual beliefs and experiences of the American Nones are similar to the Japanese Nationals. By looking at the categories of sacred Space, Time, Nature, and Human Experience through the lens of the question: “What does it mean to be human?” it can be discovered that there are interesting similarities between the spiritual lives of the American Nones and the Japanese Nationals. This “Japanese way in America” may show that although the Nones are new linguistically, the concern noted by researchers and religious leaders about the growing group and their irreligiosity is actually unnecessary. With a spiritual focus on relationships and daily living, the American Nones and the Japanese Nationals have a lot in common.
Stalinger, Jarrett, "The Japanese Way in America: A comparison of the spiritual beliefs, habits, and ideas of the American Religious ‘Nones’ and Contemporary Japanese Nationals" (2019). Honors Program Projects. 99.
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