What do surfing and belly dancing have in common?
Why they are spiritual activities of course!
Increasingly, what were once secular activities are taking on a distinctively spiritual but not religious (SBNR) feel. In a 2009 study, Rachel Kraus of Ball State University published a study of 77 belly dancers. She found that belly dancing is spiritual “for people who consider spirituality important in their lives, have belly danced for many years, rarely attend worship services, and are not affiliated with Judeo-Christian religions” (598).
Similarly, in the Journal for the American Academy of Religion, Bron Taylor describes how surfing can be viewed as a religious form when it “… leads to a belief in nature as powerful, transformative, healing, and sacred” (2007, 923).
With SBNR, we find many people attributing spiritual sentiments to things that used to be considered pretty ordinary–things like taking a bath, hiking and gardening.