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A Hundred Forms of Spirituality in the Least Religious Country in the World

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Author:
Reet Hiiemäe Senior researcher of Department of Folkloristics, Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, Estonia, reet@folklore.ee

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Abstract

This paper is mainly based on interviews and observations that the author made during the process of writing a book about a hundred forms of religious and spiritual movements, teachings, and techniques in Estonia, thus being a reflection of trends and transformations of spiritual thought and practice in a country that has been repeatedly called the least religious country in Europe or even the whole world. Bringing some topical case analyses from this empirical material, the article will offer an amended interpretative framework for discussing features that are relevant in the research of Western contemporary spiritualities, for example multiple, situational, and fluctuating spiritual identities incongruent with the use of stable categories in religiosity statistics; children as important spiritual agents; mediatized liquidity and hybridity of spiritual thought being part of the ‘all-inclusive’ and ‘open-ended’ spiritual environment; and public conflicts and private symbioses of scientific, spiritual, and religious worldviews.

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