Meet the 'Dones'

You've probably heard of the Nones. That's the name researchers have given to the growing number of people who now claim to have "no religion." While stories about the Nones have dominated the media in recent years, I've been focused on a different group of people. I'm a sociologist who has been studying dechurched people. They're what I call the Dones.

The Dones are people who are disillusioned with church. Though they were committed to the church for years—often as lay leaders—they no longer attend. Whether because they're dissatisfied with the structure, social message, or politics of the institutional church, they've decided they are better off without organized religion.

As one of our respondents put it, "I guess the church just sort of churched the church out of me."

We dove into the stories and the patterns behind those individual experiences. Our goal was to paint a more complete picture of why people would choose ...

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