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When One Religion Isn't Enough


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An exploration into the lives of people who embrace two or more religious traditions, and what this growing community tells us about change in our society Named a best book of 2018 by Library Journal

About the Author

Duane R. Bidwell, PhD, is professor of practical theology, spiritual care, and counseling at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California. A clinical fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Duane has been a chaplain, pastor, counselor, and nonprofit director. Currently, he sits on the board of the Taos Institute and maintains a small clinical practice at the Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling and Psychotherapy in Claremont. Both Buddhist and Christian, he lives in California with his wife, son, and dog.


"Will appeal to spiritual readers seeking an understanding and affirmation of the growing multireligious movement. Strongly recommended for libraries of all types."
--Library Journal, Starred Review

"The book operates with great sensitivity and awareness, addressing the difference between spiritual fluidity and spiritual bypassing or cultural appropriation . . . inspiring reading for anyone interested in enlivened spirituality or seeking permission to embrace their complexities."
--Foreword Reviews "This groundbreaking book is essential for anyone who wants to understand the contemporary religious landscape. Duane Bidwell's work will now become a touchstone for academics, clergy, therapists, journalists, and all of us who participate in more than one religion. Bidwell offers up richly detailed personal stories told with great sensitivity. In telling these stories, this book documents spiritual fluidity as transgressive yet also life-giving, and as important and surprisingly common rather than marginal and exceptional."
--Susan Katz Miller, author of Being Both "Amid the growing academic, and often dissonant, conversations about multiple religious belonging, Duane Bidwell offers a fresh and clarifying voice. He invites 'spiritually fluid people' to speak for themselves. His analysis follows, and is subordinate to, a careful listening to them--and it results in new insights into what multiple belonging feels like, how it happens, and the difference it can make in one's life. Highly recommended for both academics and seekers."
--Paul F. Knitter, author of Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian "For all those who deeply long for an abundant life, and who know such thirst cannot be quenched by the constraints of religious monogamy, this book is a must-read. When One Religion Isn't Enough speaks not only to those who deeply consider the sociopolitical ramifications of religious openness but to those who feel that being religiously faithful and spiritually deep can mean being open to more than just one religion."
--Isabelle Noth, professor for spiritual care, psychology of religion, and religious education, University of Bern, Switzerland "In this sharply insightful and refreshingly readable work, Bidwell takes us on an absorbing journey into the rapidly expanding world of religious fluidity. Simultaneously, he provides support and guidance to those embarked on this journey, while illuminating the rich potentials. In these times of increasingly fluid identities, the implications are legion."
--Kenneth J. Gergen, author of Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community "Bidwell, who is himself Buddhist-Christian, weaves tenderly crafted narratives and exercises the disciplines of silence and attention, practices that both traditions recognize as holy, in order to listen carefully to those who live with multiple religious belonging. The result: you cannot dismiss what elicits respect and even reverence. He shows that spiritually fluid lives may not have the intellectual consistency required by certain elite theologians fixated on doctrinal consistency, but these are nonetheless deeply considered lives marked by profound faithfulness and integrity. This learned book is the product of decades of intimate living with and listening to the religiously multiple; no one interested in the subject can afford to ignore it."
--John Thatamanil, author of The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament "Exploring religious multiplicity through the prism of experience, Duane Bidwell breaks fresh ground in this landmark work. Deeply attentive to the interstitial spaces in which religious multiplicity is shaped, the rarity of this book lies in the intricate, intimate, and insightful manner in which Bidwell captures the interplay of the sacred, the social, the familial, and the cultural in the lives of those who embody religious multiplicity. Outstanding and indispensable, this is a book that all those interested in the study of religion cannot afford to bypass."
--Rev. Dr. Peniel Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar, coeditor of Many Yet One? Multiple Religious Belonging

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