Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Gary Badcock


This thesis analyzes non-institutional forms of religion in Southern Ontario with depth and description, via interviews of a specific local population sample (n = 10), and provides interpretation of these phenomena within a practical theological perspective (via typology). This analysis shows measurable potential for the development of a form of personal theological autonomy that is prevalent in this sample of individuals. The aspirations of the participants have suggested two possible types emerging from this sample of spiritual adherents: 1) the “inclusive seeker” and 2) the “spiritual-political activist”. This sociological account of the so-called “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR; and in some but not all cases, “nones”) also informs practical theological reflection on ‘post Judeo-Christian esoteric spirituality.’ Suggestions are finally given that point towards a post-secular – though entirely pneumatological – theology which accounts for the autonomy of the individual outside of the institutional ecclesia.