An Outsider’s Perspective on the State of Religion

Speaking as someone who has spent very little time exploring religion and spiritualism in general it surprised me to see just how prominent spirituality is in the community. Even disregarding the student responses we heard on Wednesday, the information that there are 59 religious organizations here in Redlands was shocking to me. It was also very interesting to see the trends of spirituality in the class. The most prominent trend I picked up on was the fact that quite a few students drifted away from the religious practices that they had been born into. Whether these students drifted to a different faith, a different idea of spirituality, or an absence of a faith system whatsoever, it seemed like there was a very prominent pattern in shifting from ancestral faith systems. This of course ties into what McGuire said about the need for close-knit religious organizations fading away. It was a very interesting experience to see this wide-ranging transition taking place on the individual level, and even more so to hear from the individuals in the class to whom this transition did not apply. Generally, however, it seems like students like myself, who don’t consider spirituality a major aspect of their life in any way, were rare. That would seem to suggest that religion as a concept is not fading away by any means, merely being restructured to suit a new generation and a new way of receiving information and faith. While this may, in the long term, lead to a diminishing of structured faith centers in the future, I find it hard to believe that the core tenets and ideas of any major faith system will be lost in any way.