Nonverts: The Making of Ex-Christian America

Oxford Univ. Dec. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780197587447. $29.95. REL
Mormon missionary rom-coms, evangelical bodybuilders, the shifting fabric of American society, cartoon clergy, and lucidly explained statistical analysis—this book has it all. Theologian Bullivant (St. Mary’s Univ., London, and Univ. of Notre Dame, Sydney) gives a persuasive and engrossing tour of the American religious landscape that is as informative as it is fun to read. The rapid rise of the “nones”—those who choose “none” on surveys when asked to identify their religion—has been a much-discussed topic in recent years among sociologists and religious practitioners. However, noting that people choose this category when given the option does little to explain why this is the most fitting selection. This book is an attempt to understand the makeup of this diverse group of people by looking at a large subset of nones: those who were raised religious. The text draws together hundreds of hours of colorfully detailed interviews to illuminate the national survey data and gives readers a glimpse of the human realities underlying the numbers.
VERDICT Bullivant is a playful and knowledgeable guide with fascinating insight into the history and future of this phenomenon.
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