Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Faith prototypes

Traditionally Theistic: feels personally forgiven and protected by a spiritual being as well as guided and sustained by religious scriptures and prayer.

Secular-Humanistic:  guided by scientific and rational principles as well as a core of values in striving to make the world a better place to live.

Spiritually Attuned: views the transcendent as a deep mystery and religious faith as a personal, never-ending quest; reports moments of profound illumination, especially in the midst of the natural world.

Reluctantly Skeptical: privately regrets the loss of all but the moral or ethical core of childhood faith; feels adrift, without a clear purpose or goal.

Institutionally Anchored: has an exceptionally strong commitment to the teachings and practices of some religious institution, seemingly in compensation for a guilt-ridden and precarious personal faith.

Extrinsically Religious: too busy to think about spiritual matters and impervious to the suffering of others; becomes more religious at times of personal crisis and prays to a protective, parent-like god for solace and protection.

Situationally Religious: views the world within a vague and shifting religious framework that comes more fully into focus in particular settings, including nature; in response to music, art or poetry; or during times of personal crisis.