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NCLS to probe 'I'm spiritual not religious' sentiment


An Australian religious research body is joining a team of international researchers with a proposal to map religiosity and wider spirituality in Australia, United States and the United Kingdom next year.

NCLS Research is a joint project of the Uniting Church NSW Board of Mission, ANGLICARE (Diocese of Sydney) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Keen to better understand the full spectrum of spirituality, NCLS Research says spiritual options are far more diverse than a generation ago. It points out the increasing prevalence of the 'I'm spiritual not religious' sentiment.

Director Keith Castle said the research will enable NCLS to build on work already done in Australia.

"It will be part of our commitment to help churches build healthy connections with the wider community," he said.

This project proposes to classify the different strands of spirituality that people are pursuing in Australia, United States and the United Kingdom.

A second objective is to see what values are associated with the different forms of contemporary religion and spirituality. The project also hopes to build a simple tool to more regularly measure this phenomenon in the future.

Some 7200 congregations in 19 denominations across Australia were involved in the 2001 National Church Life Survey. NCLS Research also draws from surveys of the wider community and the national census to provide resources to assist Australian churches in mission.

SOURCE
NCLS joins international research team to study spirituality (NCLS 6/2/04)

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10 Feb 2004