335: Is spiritual language disappearing? with Jonathan Merritt

Language really shapes how we think about things. After Jonathan Merritt moved from the South to New York City, he discovered that the words he had always used to describe spiritual life didn’t resonate anymore! The more pluralistic and postmodern the society, he observed, the less language people seem to have for spiritual experience.

Jonathan is so sure that this is a problem, he wrote a book about it – Learning to Speak God from Scratch – which he and Bart Campolo chat about in this episode.

They talk about the resurgence of the religious right and the desire of many Christians to separate themselves from it, the importance of language to describe good and kind forms of spirituality, Jonathan’s own beliefs, the importance of good questions and our comfort level talking about our spiritual lives.

Jonathan is one of America’s premier religion writers whose work can be found at The Atlantic, The New York Times and many other publications, and whose website can be found at JonathanMerritt.com. His recent article about his latest book can be found HERE. His 2014 article about Bart’s ‘coming out’ to his parents as a humanist can be found HERE.

Leave us a review in iTunes! Take a screenshot of your review and send it to to enter our drawing for a copy of Jonathan’s book! The publisher has agreed to part with three of them, and we had 18 entries last time, so you stand a good chance of winning! Entries accepted until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, December 2nd.


By | 2022-08-10T03:38:53+00:00 November 28th, 2018|Podcast|

About the Author:

Bart Campolo is a secular community builder, counselor and writer who currently serves as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Cincinnati. Listen to his podcast HERE!