Published March 20, 2019 by Tom Porter

‘Believing But Not Belonging’—Bowdoin Scholar on Decline of Organized Religion, Rise of Secularism

What does it mean to be secular? Does it indicate a rejection of religion? Why does secularism seem to be on the rise? How do atheists differ from agnostics? What is humanism?

Elizabeth Pritchard is quizzed by Maine Public's Keith Shortall '82.
Photo: Cindy Han

These were some of the questions posed recently on Maine Public’s call-in program, Maine Calling.

Among the guests was Associate Professor of Religion Elizabeth Pritchard, who pointed out that while the US is still more religious than Europe, more and more Americans describe themselves as “believing but not belonging,” meaning they believe in some kind of higher spiritual power, but don’t want to commit to organized religion.

The program, which aired on March 7, was hosted by Maine Public’s Keith Shortall ’82.

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