Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

by Nancy Tatom Ammerman. Oxford University Press, 2014.


This resource unpacks the meaning of the phrase "spiritual but not religious," providing a well-researched representation of the spiritual life of Americans through the narratives of 95 men and women.


four categories of religious experience, what it means to be "spiritual but not religious," insight from the narratives of 95 men and women

Recommended Audience

Clergy and lay leaders


Purchase as a book or e-book

Practical Applications

  • Identify the religious experiences of congregants by studying the four categories of religious experience: the theistic, the extra-theistic, ethical spirituality, and belief and belonging.
  • Gain a better understanding of what individuals may mean when they identify as "spiritual but not religious."

About the Contributor

Tim Shapiro

Tim Shapiro is the Indianapolis Center’s president. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. For 14 years, Tim served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Prior to his pastorate at Westminster, he was pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation LearnsAfter his extensive work on the Center’s Sacred Space initiative, Tim co-authored the book Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and MessageHe has also authored several articles, including Applying Positive Deviance and The Congregation of Theological Coherence.

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