If you haven’t noticed less people are attending church on a regular basis. Less than 50% of Americans have great confidence in organized religion. However, people are not shedding their belief system, they are merely expanding it. More and more people are picking and choosing what they like and do not like from multiple religions to build their own spiritual belief system. Performing and participating in paranormal investigations is part of that process for finding a spiritual belief system for many people.
According to the author, most people investigating the paranormal are not satisfied with what religion tells them about the afterlife and they want more tangible proof. Performing paranormal investigations has the end goal of connecting to a “spiritual world” outside of our own. The author interviewed paranormal investigators to find out their experiences and why they wanted to contact the paranormal world. The author had four groups: the people who dabble in multiple religions, “spiritual but not religious”, atheists and agnostics, and investigators that were part of organized religion.
After interviewing and gathering why the investigators were so intent on connecting to the paranormal, the author found that those who were skeptical about an afterlife were seeking the spiritual world for evidence and those who already believed in an afterlife wanted to provide answers to the dead and the living about the afterlife. However, no matter why they are trying to connect with the paranormal- they are all connecting with each other.
Submitted by: Ryan Malone
Eaton, M. A. (2015). “Give us a Sign of Your Presence”: Paranormal Investigation as a Spiritual Practice. Sociology Of Religion, 76, 389-412.