Trialogue: Spiritual but not Religious? Perspectives on a Perceived Disjunction

This Trialogue is the culmination of the upper-division seminar course Religion 120 by the UCLA Center for the Study of Religion. The panel discussion is being co-sponsored by the Academy for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies.

Convener and Moderator

Reinhard Krauss, Ph.D.
Lecturer, UCLA Center for the Study of Religion


Jennifer Lindholm, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Provost, UCLA; Director, UCLA Spirituality in Higher Education Project
Maria Blandizzi, Ed.D.
Dean for Students, UCLA
Gail Stearns, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Chapman University, Orange, CA


Thursday, June 8, 2017
4:00 – 6:00 PM

Reception to Follow

Free Admission • All are welcome!



Royce Hall 306

‘Spiritual but not Religious’ is a frequently used phrase on college campuses and beyond. How do we define spirituality as distinct from religion? Is spirituality measurable and if so, what role does it play on a college campus — in the classrooms and in the dorm rooms, in faculty meetings, and in the strategic planning of campus administrators? Does spirituality perhaps have an impact on academic performance?

These are some of the issues to be discussed in this forum. Each of the forum’s three panelists has a unique vantage point from which to address these questions. As an academic researcher, Dr. Lindholm’s approach to the often rather nebulous concept of spirituality is rigorously data driven. Her research on student spirituality has broken new ground, and is especially valuable in our current political and cultural climate of rumors, conspiracy theories, and unfounded claims. Dr. Stearns, as a campus chaplain of a multi-faith chapel and an academic teacher plays a dual role as leader called to provide spiritual guidance and to promote what has been called religious literacy. Dr. Blandizzi, the Dean for Students at UCLA, is charged with supporting students in their overall well-being. How does supporting students’ spirituality fit into this overall portfolio — or does belong there?

The event is free and open to those interested in exploring a key issue of concern in contemporary religious and cultural studies.

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