“Experimenting with Ideologies…”—A “More Spiritual Than Religious” Zen Buddhist

  • Thomas J. ColemanIIIEmail author
  • Anne Swhajor-Biesemann
  • Derek Giamundo
  • Christopher Vance
  • Ralph W. HoodJr.
  • Christopher F. Silver


Identity is complex; the cultural milieu of possible worldviews, and accompanying identifying terminology said to represent such a worldview, even more so. Just as this book demonstrates, a simple term such as “spirituality” can refer to a multiplicity of understandings, which may even wholly contradict one another. In our present study, Brian C. has found comfort “experimenting with ideologies,” and identity tinkering over the course of his life. As his case will demonstrate, the process of identity formation is exemplified by its disunity. To this point, Brian identifies as an atheist Zen Buddhist , who is not only “spiritual,” but also “religious.” Raised in a religion (Christianity) he identified with until adolescence, Brian had been a practicing Buddhist for several years at the time of the interview.


Zen buddhism Atheism Spirituality Horizontal transcendence Identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas J. ColemanIII
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Swhajor-Biesemann
    • 2
  • Derek Giamundo
    • 1
  • Christopher Vance
    • 1
  • Ralph W. HoodJr.
    • 1
  • Christopher F. Silver
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Tennessee at ChattanoogaChattanoogaUSA
  2. 2.University of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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