Institutional, Alternative, Distanced, and Secular.
Four Types of (Un)Belief and their Gods
- Side: 4-23
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/issn.1890-7008-2017-01-01
- Publisert på Idunn: 2017-05-15
- Publisert: 2017-05-15
When scholars use mono-method strategies to identify broad religious or secular groups in a population, they often encounter significant problems. Quantitative studies have difficulties in interpreting the groups because of a lack of local knowledge, while qualitative studies often lack generalizability. The present study uses a mixed methods approach combining a representative survey (N=1229) and semi-structured interviews (N=73) to better address these problems. I identify four basic types of (un)belief: Institutionals, Alternatives, Distanced, and Seculars. These types show very different religious/secular beliefs and practices, and significantly differing images of “God.” I argue that this typology is more complete than former attempts, since it combines quantitative generalizability with interpretation grounded in qualitative material. An intergenerational perspective shows that the growing “secular” group will, in the future, outnumber the current largest group of “distanced” individuals.Keywords: Religious milieu, religiosity, spirituality, secularity, fuzzy fidelity, God, mixed methods