Wednesday, August 05, 2009

AfterBurn Report 2007: Census Data and the Church

I am currently working on a chapter for a book to be published by Morling Press in Australia as part of the proceedings for the post-Christendom spiritualities consultation at Trinity Internatinoal University in October 2008. My contribution will look at what the Burning Man Festival has to say back to the Christian church in late modern America and the West. Today I was reviewing some data on the festival which included the AfterBurn Report from 2007. The census statistics are interesting in that the major demographic for Burning Man is urban, an artist (possibly meaning at least artistic if not an amateur or professional artist), a college graduate, and attends no religious services during the year yet is interested or very interested in spirituality. I wonder how much interaction the church has with such a demographic in their spiritual quest through contemporary forms of church.


Steve Hayes said...

Very interesting, but I didn't see anything about what they through the burning man signified, if anything, and what was the attraction - perhaps I looked in the wrong place.

John W. Morehead said...

The Man is interpreted differently by each participant and has no fixed meaning, even by the Burning Man LLC which puts on the festival. As to the attraction, I'd direct you to my article on Sacred Tribes in the current edition, and my MA thesis at