Approaching Religion 14/2 on Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning

The new issue of Approaching Religion presents articles springing from the conference “Religion and Spirituality as Sites of Learning”, which was arranged in May 2023. The event was organised as a co-operation between the research Council of Finland-financed project “Learning from New Religion and Spirituality” at the University of Helsinki, and the Donner Institute.

The issue contains thirteen research articles and one review article that cover topics ranging from the learning of newcomers to committed practitioners as well as those who leave religion altogether. The articles touch upon, for example, experiential learning as well as the processes and outcomes of religious and spiritual learning and unlearning.

The contributions to this special issue approach the central theme of learning from a variety of perspectives. The range of topics is geographically diverse and includes both historical and contemporary forms of religion, spirituality, and non-religion. In terms of research methods and materials, the emphasis on ethnographic case studies is complemented with analyses of archive materials, both online and textual sources. The contributions also elucidate individuals and communities in different stages of the learning path: religious newcomers and experimenters, committed spiritual practitioners, as well as people leaving religion and related processes of unlearning and relearning.

Guest Editors for the current issue are Ville Husgafvel (University of Helsinki), Kim Knott (Lancaster University), and Terhi Utriainen (University of Helsinki).