Your Own Personal Jesus: A Case Study of Liminal Nones at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival



Pratt, Ashley

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The religiously unaffiliated, also referred to as “nones,” are a quickly rising population in the United States. Changing cultural life as part of religious and political discourse, the sub-group “liminal nones” is creating moral, open dialogues in the religious sphere while also liberalizing the political sphere. Globally, this rise reflects recent trends in France and England. Several scholars state liminal nones are creating a post-dualistic stance of religion in the United States, as they do not define themselves by the traditionally opposing categories of religion and secularism. Though reflective of both religious and secular traditions, liminal nones are redirecting the flow of these traditions toward more humanitarian, universal morals, and potentially creating a type of solidarity some philosophers state is missing in American society today (Butler et al. 2011; Habermas et al. 2010). This thesis is the result of an ethnographic study conducted in a liminal festival setting, suiting the demographic of the population, to gain insight as to the personal narratives of their worldviews and concepts of morality changing American society today. By using the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival as a case study and discussing liminal nones’ views on values and morality, this thesis analyzes how these ideals reflect the rising, post-dualistic understanding of religion in the United States currently opening dialogues in the religious sphere and liberalizing the political landscape.



Liminal nones, Alternative spirituality, Morality, Religion, Secular, United States