Americans Seek Connection to God Without Religion
Santa Fe, NM (PRWEB) June 15, 2005 — Is religion gaining ground in America, or are people simply looking harder for answers? Religion and spirituality books are selling strongly, while the number of Americans not identified with a religion is rising. It appears that more and more people are seeking God on their own rather than through established belief systems. The groundbreaking book “God Without Religion: Questioning Centuries of Accepted Truths” by Sankara Saranam (www.godwithoutreligion.com) shows seekers how to develop a direct understanding of God, unhindered by dogma, creed or ritual.
At last week’s BookExpo America in New York City, religion titles dominated, continuing the growth trend that showed a 17 percent gain in religious book sales in 2004 to reach a staggering $3.8 billion. On the other hand, according to a survey by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research in San Francisco, the number of Americans with no organized religious affiliation has doubled over the last decade. In fact, 16 percent of the population—more than 47,000,000 Americans—has no religious affiliation at all. What lies behind the seeming dichotomy that religion titles are booming while increasing numbers of people renounce organized religion?
It appears many Americans are searching for a meaningful spirituality. While organized religions continue to make headlines—the Pope counseling “fear of God,” fights for “divinely sanctioned” territory in the Middle East, debates about teaching “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution, and religious groups resisting potentially lifesaving stem-cell research—a new book, “God Without Religion: Questioning Centuries of Accepted Truths” by Sankara Saranam (www.godwithoutreligion.com), proposes a personal connection to God free of religious teachings. “God Without Religion” quietly advocates a spiritual discipline of looking within to develop an expansive sense of self that can identify with increasing numbers of people, no matter what their beliefs—ultimately spreading peace and understanding worldwide.
Though not yet officially released, “God Without Religion,” with a foreword by non-violence activist Arun Gandhi, has already racked up significant sales on Amazon.com, on June 7, hitting number 65 out of the site’s top 100 religion and spirituality bestsellers. In “God Without Religion,” Saranam, founder of The Pranayama Institute, scholar, teacher, musician, and son of Iraqi Jews, explains why people, dissatisfied and disillusioned, are turning away in droves from organized religion, no longer willing to accept any kind of “faith” that is based on an “us vs. them” mentality. The dramatic shift in the population toward both New Age based spirituality as well as the Pentecostal wing of Christianity (cited as “the world’s fastest-growing religion” by Laurie Goodstein in The New York Times, January 9, 2005), would indicate that many people are seeking a more expansive relationship with God. Indeed, as Deepak Chopra is quoted as saying in Time magazine (January 24, 2005), “Religion has become divisive, quarrelsome, and idiotic.” It seems more and more Americans agree and are beginning to search for God on their own.
Joanna Hurley/Michael Hice